An European citizens' initiative called the 'Choose Freedom Campaign' has been launched by Glyn Hughes, a 57-year-old engineering designer from Derbyshire and Sue Wilson, chair of the campaign group, Bremain in Spain. The aim of the campaign is to persuade the European Union to issue EU passports to any EU citizens who are at risk of losing their rights and freedoms as a result of Brexit.
The European Citizens' Initiative is an EU scheme that allows citizens to propose legislation if they can garner the support of one million signatories across the European Union. A minimum of seven European countries must be represented, with a requirement for a specific quota of votes from each of those member states.
UK citizens living in the EU will be governed by the voting rules of their country of residence.
France, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Austria and Portugal prevent foreign residents from voting altogether. However, the European Commission has no control over these, as each country makes its own voting decisions.
Glyn and Sue have up to a year to collect the one million votes required. If successful, the campaigners will meet with the European Commission in Brussels, before being invited to present the petition at a public hearing in the European Parliament. The Commission would then have three months to decide on a course of action and to explain the reasons for their decision.
Sue says, "For those living in Europe, who have been denied the opportunity to vote because of the 15-year rule, this is fantastic news. Whatever the result of the campaign, I hope - at the very least - that it will prove to all European governments how strongly we value our EU citizenship and the lengths to which we are prepared to go to hold onto those rights and freedoms." For more information visit www.bremaininspain.com