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  • Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos

Citizens’ rights after Brexit: from ‘bargaining chips’ to ‘collateral damage’?

On 12 February 2019, a Goldsmiths Law/Britain in Europe thinktank roundtable event, in partnership with the Brexit Brits Abroad project, took stock of defeats and victories in the continuing battle to safeguard citizens’ rights after Brexit, and looked into the difficult path ahead.

The event brought together academic experts from a range of disciplines, NGO experts, legal professionals and members of advocacy groups and civil rights organisations which have taken an active part in the debate on citizens’ rights after Brexit.

The event attracted interest from outside academia, with those attending including BBC World News Presenter, Kasia Madera, a researcher at the Department for Exiting the European Union and others.

Head of Goldsmiths Law, Prof Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos, opened the event, providing a chronology of the legal and political fight over EU citizens’ rights, from the Government’s initial “bargaining chips” approach after the Referendum to finally enacting – a whole two years after the Referendum – the “Settled Status” legislation.

In his concluding observations, Prof Giannoulopoulos stressed how the human rights threats inherent in Brexit were particularly pertinent to EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU.

Dr Michaela Benson, Reader in Sociology, Goldsmiths University of London, a BiE expert and Director of the Brexit Brits Abroad project then followed, describing a damaging state of precariousness for UK citizens in the EU, taking examples of British citizens that engaged with her research as part of her research project.

“The lives of some British in the EU have been built around the freedom to move freely in the EU”, she added, a freedom that is by no means guaranteed after Brexit.

You can watch highlights from Prof Giannoulopoulos’ and Dr Benson’s in the following video.

Other speakers included:

Prof Brad Blitz, Director, British Academy Programme, Tackling Slavery, Human Trafficking and Child Labour in Modern Business; Professor of International Politics, Middlesex University.

Tamara Flanagan OBE, Head of projects, New Europeans

Dr Marie Godin, Research Fellow, EU Families and “Eurochildren” in Brexiting Britain (University of Birmingham

Prof Charlotte O’Brien (University of York); Director, EU Rights Project

Megan Corton Scott, Head of Brussels Office, Mary Honeyball MEP

Dr Adrienne Yong (City University)

For more details see here.

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