If the Federasts want to offer citizenship lite then why not?

Despite Brexit, and the often tone-deaf nature of the current government’s diplomacy, it is heartening that senior European politicians remain committed to British people having a close relationship with Europe in the future. That is why Guy Verhofstadt’s comments, supporting the rights of British citizens to retain some of the advantages of our European Union membership, are welcome. The government should respond positively, demonstrate its commitment to negotiating in good faith and with goodwill and see how important it is that both parliamentarians and the public should be fully involved in the Brexit process.

Being a citizen of the EU brings tangible benefits. It allows Britons to move easily to mainland Europe and between European countries, be it for work, study or pleasure. More than a million of our fellow citizens have done so, from those who have retired in Spain to tech entrepreneurs in Berlin. Services such as the European health insurance card guarantee free medical treatment for Britons who fall ill in another European country. The open skies policy and the near-abolition of roaming charges have made the European continent a smaller place. And of course the EU’s economic foundations – the single market, customs union, funding for universities and poorer regions – have made us all better off, creating millions of jobs in Britain through free trade with the world’s largest market.

Super, what Verhofstadt said is that there should, could, be some mechanism by which those individuals who wanted this citizenship of the EU lite should be able to claim it. And why not?

The objection to the EU is not that people get to choose from a thoroughly liberal palette of choices about how they wish to live their lives. Rather, that the EU comes as a single bundle of no choices in it at all mate.

It’s also sod all to do with the UK government. We’ve never insisted that people must claim UK and UK citizenship only. We do insist that if it is claimed then it is lived up to but no more than that.

So, let those who wish to join with the federasts do so. Let those who do not not. There is nothing at all wrong with people having more choice in this world.

23 comments on “If the Federasts want to offer citizenship lite then why not?

  1. Yup, I could see the advantages of the benefits. As I said when it was commented on here when V first suggested it, I’d have to take a really good look at the Ts&Cs, though.

  2. I am happy for them all to have European membership. Give them a European passport.

    As long as they have to give up their British one. I would call that a win-win.

  3. Er nope, i think we don’t want to do that. My instinct is these are supranational tanks on the nations lawn. Much as it would be chaotic fun down the road if you got British people taking EU countries to court for not enforcing their EU citizen rights, there would also be the prospect of Mrs Miller taking the UK to court to enforce her EU ones.

  4. We can’t have people taking the benefits of EU citizenship without making a contribution. I’m sure the federasts will be only too happy to pay additional taxes for the privilege.

  5. When people demand that you “respond positively and demonstrate your commitment to negotiating in good faith and with goodwill”, as Rudd does here, they mean that you should give them something that they want without getting anything in return.

    You don’t have to read much further to find out what that is: “An early and positive step would be to immediately guarantee the right to remain of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom.”

  6. “EU’s economic foundations” – I judge organisations by what they spend your money on. So the foundation of the EU is transferring public funds to people who own farm land, and then erecting a common external tariff to protect them further.
    You’d think the G would know this. A policy of pure filth staring back in their faces every time you look at a bit of countryside. Perhaps they don’t get out of town much.

  7. Um, has he run this one past Angela? She’s the one who shot down the idea of granting Uk citizens living elsewhere in the EU residency rights in a quid pro quo deal for the EU citizens currently in the UK, isn’t this in fact a unilateral offer of exactly the same thing? If any UK citizen can apply for EU citizenship then they can live anywhere in the EU surely? Otherwise what use is it?

  8. Given that it’s Verhofstadt’s idea, this will turn out to be a thinly disguised Trojan Horse of a deal.

    If the EU rather than its member states wants to issue passports it’s very much up to individual countries whether or not they choose to recognise said passports.

  9. Roland Rudd is the chairman of Business for New Europe and a senior partner at Finsbury, a leading financial, regulatory and political communications agency

    He’s also that dozy cow Amber Rudd’s dozy twerp brother.

    Can we send them both on the B-Ark?

  10. SMFS calls it right. Sure you can have EU citizenship. And you lose your British citizenship and are expelled.

    The same for all EU pension recipients in the UK. Give up the pension or lose your citizenship and be expelled

  11. From the quote I saw, Verhofsted said UK citizens “could have” these rights, he didn’t say “should have” or “will have”, yet the Guardian is treating it as such.

  12. senior partner at Finsbury, a leading financial, regulatory and political communications agency

    Pure Guardian, through and through. Just the man you want to sell “Europe” to the towns oop North.

  13. Fellow Brexit types of my acquaintance tend to be involved with EU workers at the practical level, that is working with them, employing them and so on. Nobody wants them to leave, and it’s not going to happen.

    The workers themselves will be very well aware of their value, and I’d be very surprised if any of them are genuinely concerned.

    In short, we very much want to buy Eastern European labour, and they very much want to sell. So, no problem.

    The issue for Guardian types is that this is not the fluffy-rainbow reason we should all be aspiring to.

  14. there would also be the prospect of Mrs Miller taking the UK to court to enforce her EU ones

    I’ve had a stern word with Mrs M, and she’s promised not to do this 😉

  15. My initial thought was that this may be the start of some “divide and rule” type tactics, not dissimilar to that which May will attempt, by talking individually to the other EU member states.

    But, who will pay – the EU will certainly want a passport (or membership) fee. Hence, in effect, is this dual passport, nothing more than that which Ritchie, for example, enjoys with both his mainland and Republic passports.

    At that point, it is (presumably) an “EU” passport. Will other EU members be able to take up this offer? Will other non EU members?

    This is an implied confession that the EU does indeed aspire to be a soveriegn state (despite Remainiac’s continued facile denials). and which we already know is completely in line with Verhofstadt’s thinking with regard to the EU.

    TMB – Trojan Horse / Verhofstadt

    Definitely.

    SMFS

    “As long as they have to give up their British one”

    Personally, I would prefer to think that we Brits tend not to be quite so fascist like in our approach to such issues? Are we really going to make “dual passport” illegal – ie Brit + any other passport, of which there are already quite significant numbers?

  16. And turning it around, I am completely happy that if non-UK EU citizens want the benefit of being UK citizens in the UK, they are perfectly free to apply for and become UK citizens, just like any other foreigner. After all, it’s perfectly natural that if you want the benefits of X you have to sign up for X.

  17. PF–You can have a dual passport so long as it isn’t an EU one. As the EU breaks up dual passports will be possible for other European nations.

    Just not for supra-national wannabe tyrannies.

  18. I share Jim’s suspicion. If this is tean anything (and it.might not of course) then the right to live in any EU STATE must surely be backed o by a refusal to grant those rights to UK citizens cureentry living in other EU states.

    They are cunts and we re so much better off rid of them.

  19. Ecks,

    There is no difference between us on what the EU represents!

    Reading further in the Guardian article (and dropping down another link), we find this:

    In Brussels, the idea of EU citizenship rights for Britons has already been dismissed as a non-starter, with EU insiders pointing to vast political, legal and technical hurdles.

    The EU’s 27 remaining member states, which are in charge of Brexit negotiations, would have to rewrite treaties, which governments have repeatedly ruled out in recent years. Several senior EU experts have previously told the Guardian such a plan has no chance of success. “This proposal is absolutely not serious,” one former ambassador said, describing the idea as “very vague and for the distant future”.

    EU diplomats also stress that Verhofstadt has no power to put the idea on the agenda of Brexit talks. The Liberal MEP is the parliament’s Brexit representative, but will not have a place at the negotiating table, although the parliament will be informed and consulted.

    The former Belgian prime minister hopes to use the parliament’s right to veto the deal – a blunt, but potentially deadly instrument – to set the agenda. But he may face difficulty in winning support from the parliament to hand out meaningful EU citizenship benefits to Britons. MEPs from other political groups believe he would struggle to convince the two biggest groups, the centre-right bloc and the Socialists, to back his idea.

  20. It would be interesting if they allowed Brits to pay for EU citizenship (not sure if that’s this proposal, but I have seen it put about).

    That way we’d see how much it’s really worth to the people who are wailing about losing it.

  21. The UK allows its citizens to hold passports from other countries, and that shouldn’t stop, but the EU is not a country, and so the UK should not agree to it. If you want to be in the EU get a passport from an EU member country.

    > My instinct is these are supranational tanks on the nations lawn.

    Yes.

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