Rejoining the EU with Prof. A. C. Grayling

Rejoining the EU: How & When, and what we need to do to make it happen sooner rather than later – some very practical suggestions included. Tickets available here.

Bio: A. C. Grayling CBE MA DPhil (Oxon) FRSA FRSL is the Founder and Principal of New College of the Humanities at Northeastern University, and its Professor of Philosophy. He is also a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne’s College, Oxford. He is the author of over thirty books of philosophy, biography, history of ideas, and essays. He was for a number of years a columnist on the Guardian, the Times, and Prospect magazine. He has contributed to many leading newspapers in the UK, US and Australia, and to BBC radios 4, 3 and the World Service, for which he did the annual ‘Exchanges at the Frontier’ series; and he has often appeared on television. He has twice been a judge on the Booker Prize, in 2014 serving as the Chair of the judging panel. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Vice President of Humanists UK, Patron of the Defence Humanists, Honorary Associate of the Secular Society, and a Patron of Dignity in Dying.

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This event is organised by Berkshire for Europe; Oxford for Europe; and Hants for Europe

EU Citizens – 94 days until the Deadline!

Dear Supporters and  Friends!

Campaigns – Updates on EU Citizens & Settled Status!
We are contacting you today in connection with #actnowEUSS campaign namely to raise awareness of the deadline for EU and EFTA citizens resident in the UK to apply for settlement status.  Today there are only 94 days left until the application deadline on 30th June 2021.   Please take a few minutes to watch this video as it gives a comprehensive background to the urgency.
The #actnowEUSS campaign has been tweeting and posting messages over the past 4 weeks to highlight the 30 countries whose citizens are affected.  With only 94 days left we have much to do locally… 

Report it!
Have you heard of anyone with a problem with their application for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme? Struggling to apply?  Still waiting for a decision?  Or they received the wrong status?  Or have they been granted a status but are struggling to prove it because you haven’t been given a physical proof of status? The3million have an excellent site for collecting these experiences at the3million | Report it

Join Us – Campaigning Next Steps – Thursday 1st April at 8pm!
Together with Berkshire for Europe, we are hosting a Zoom webinarSmall Step Campaigning: Erasmus, Musicians, The Veterinary Bill! EU Citizens: Next Steps!Preparing for Local Elections & Getting Your European Voice Heard!And, Much More!Look forward to Seeing you at the Zoom Session  – All Details Below

Mini Survey – Choose your favourite Erasmus coin!
In 2022 the Erasmus programme celebrates its 35th birthday.  Are you one or do you know anyone of the millions of people who have loved the experience? Or maybe you have heard about Erasmus but not yet had a chance to take part?  They’re looking to you to choose the commemorative €2 coin to celebrate the programme. You can pick from one of the six designs below within the link. Help mark Erasmus’ place in shaping.   This survey is open, and you can cast your vote until midnight, March 31st, 2021.

Some Interesting  Links…
The Good Law ProjectIt’s hard to put it better than the Commissioner for Public Appointments: “… some at the centre of government want not only to have the final say but to tilt the competition system in their favour to appoint their allies…”     This is not the Britain we should be.
British Citizens Welcome Biden-Harris Administration defence of Truth!
Joanne Callaghan and Monica Horten, Author at Yorkshire Bylines
See You There – Join Us & Let us Make it Happen – Thursday 1st April at 8pm.
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Brexit bites for consumers

Cathy Rogers

If you have tried to buy something online from an EU country since 1 January 2021, you might have found it cost you rather more than you were expecting … thanks to Brexit! And if you’ve attempted to send a parcel to friends in an EU country, you will have experienced the joys of filling out detailed customs declarations forms, in addition to higher postage costs.

I’ve heard a myriad of such anecdotes and for many it has felt like the first tangible impact of Brexit. Here are some recent examples:

Anna: Had to pay an additional £27 for customs clearance charges on wallpaper ordered from Germany.

Rebecca: Tried to buy a plant from a gardening company in the Netherlands – they no longer export to the UK due to Brexit conditions. They used to ship over 600 varieties per shipment, which would now generate a mountain of paperwork. It is currently too costly and impractical to ship to the UK.

Dwayne: Had to pay an unexpected £20 for tax on musical equipment ordered from Germany.

Ali: Ordered some slippers from a Danish company, but the forwarder wasn’t allowed to ship parcels to the UK. The order had to be cancelled.

Josh: Had to pay £450 more than in pre-Brexit times for samples from Austria for his UK-based company. The supplier had also been obliged to fill out several additional forms.

It’s clear that Brexit is hitting your average British consumer. Johnson’s deal certainly doesn’t feel much like a ‘free trade deal’ in reality. So what choice is there for the British consumer buying from the EU? It’s either soak up the extra costs or don’t make the purchase. Brexiters might argue that this is a good thing – British consumers will turn to UK-based companies to meet their needs. But even taking that potential outcome into consideration, it’s clear that Brexit has reduced choice for ordinary British people. And it must also be recognised that any UK company relying on imports from EU countries will be adversely affected by extra red tape and higher transportation costs. And UK-based companies may start charging customers more in response to having less competition. Prices for brits will inevitably rise.

Many Brexit impacts currently feel fairly remote to the average person on the street, partly due to the overwhelming nature of the Covid pandemic. But it’s likely that most will know someone who has found themselves paying import tax on a purchase or who has faced the prospect of filling out a lengthy customs declaration form just to send a birthday present – each situation a little reminder that we have ‘Brexited’ and these are the consequences.

European in the Census

We have checked with the Office for National Statistics!

We are entitled to fill in ‘identity’ as European, since it’s about self identity and will not be used as data for reporting nationality.  The census has separate questions on where you were born.

For identity you can tick ALL that apply, so you could in fact be British and European or Welsh and European, etc. Take the opportunity to express your identity as a European!!

Where do we go from here – The Workshops

We will be holding online working group sessions in the week commencing 7th December and we would really like as many of our supporters that can to join one or more of these. 

Details are below, including links to the Zoom meeting. If you would like to attend one or more to help us develop our thinking, please let us know by email, or you can just join the meeting on the evening if you’re uncertain.

1 EU Citizens in UK (Euro Café and Settled Status). Facilitated by Caroline / Mailan, 7 Dec 8.00 – 9.30pm. Link  Meeting ID: 861 7377 7887 / Passcode: mockpwd

2 Defending Democracy and Electoral Reform. Facilitated by Len / Caroline, 8 Dec 8.00 – 9.30pmLink  Meeting ID: 869 0181 5758 / Passcode: mockpwd

3 Engagement / working with local Political Parties. Facilitated by Katherine / Terry, 9 Dec 8.00 – 9.30pm. Link  Meeting ID: 857 5978 1557 / Passcode: mockpwd

4 Influencing others (outside of our bubble). Facilitated by Beth / Mailan, 10 Dec 8.00 – 9.30pm. Link  Meeting ID: 864 0659 2223 / Passcode: mockpwd

5 The Rejoin campaign. Facilitated by Peter / Adrian, 11 Dec 8.00 – 9.30pm. Link  Meeting ID: 890 4699 9191 / Passcode: mockpwd

We will take the output from the survey and working groups into our plans for 2021 and beyond.

And for something fun before Xmas, please join us for a social meet-up at the virtual Remainiacs Arms on Wednesday 16th December at 7.30 pm. We can’t meet up in person, but we can do the next best thing and meet online to raise a glass with remainer friends.
Link, Meeting ID: 852 5438 4617 / Passcode: 9P7dL9

Thank you for your continued support,
Chair of Berkshire for Europe

Where do we go from here – Presentation

This evening we held the feedback session on the supporter consultation which Berkshire for Europe, Open Britain Berkshire and Maidenhead for Europe undertook between mid-October and mid-November.  We were delighted that 132 people returned the survey and so many of you joined the feedback session.

If you missed the session and would like to see the survey results please see here:

Summary from 8 Jul Campaign Meeting

Thank you to everyone who contributed to our campaign discussion on Wednesday 8th July. 

We need a comprehensive deal that protects the economy, security, health (and more) of UK and EU, and the additional transition arrangements to achieve this.   We need to build public awareness and pressure on the government so that this becomes politically their best option.

Here is a summary of what we discussed (including latest news) and links to resources you can use.

This is the time of maximum risk from Brexit, as the transition arrangements end and realities replace rhetoric.  But as a consequence, the public is more open to understanding the facts and to pressurizing the government to accept these realities and change course.  Everything we can do to public awareness and pressure on the government to do this makes a difference.

Thank you for your contribution

Extend the Transition Period

Thank you to everyone who joined last night’s call on how we maximise the public campaign for an extension to the Brexit Transition Phase.  We are all in our own way influencers, whether through letter writing, social media or just with our friends and colleagues. 

Letters – There is no harm in multiple letters to the press, MPs and others, so please use your own thoughts and the material we have shared to do these. 

Freedom of Information – If you can submit a Freedom of Information request to your local Council please let us know so that we can check we have everywhere covered (we have already done Wokingham, )

Len has said he will do Reading, and Rosie Windsor & Maidenhead!  Anyone else for the other areas? Thanks.

Social Media Warriors Arise! – Peter has kicked this off today – We need your help again to fight in the foul swamp that is Social media! We need warriors to fight on the beaches of facebook, twitter and Instagram for the noble cause of the extending the Transition period, if we leave with no deal the economic harm will significantly increase the pain created by Covid-19.  We call on you to fight this righteous war!  We will provide the weapons; memes, information cartoons, letters. Have a look  or contact Peter and Beth!

Please find the links below 

  • last nights presentation
  • Calling for Extension / No Deal Report.  This report tracks Trade Associations and Business organizations that have either called for an Extension to the Transition phase or raised issues that the business would face regarding a No Deal Brexit. This report will be updated on a regular basis as we  identify further organizations willing to  “voice” their concerns.

Please do get in touch if you have any further ideas, questions, and if you are happy to please share any responses that you receive.  Meanwhile good luck and thank you for all your efforts!

The Team.