At the moment, UK citizens have both UK and EU citizenship. Brexit means we are losing the EU citizenship part of this, even though we did not choose ourselves to renounce it. We believe we should have the right to opt in and continue to identify as Europeans, and that the most logical mechanism for this is individual citizenship of the EU.
We are open minded about this and understand that it would require some flexibility on the part of the EU for it to work. This is why we think the most likely hope is to make clear that we are a group of UK citizens who wish to continue as Europeans, asking the EU for associate citizenship or a similar scheme on that basis. It has also previously been suggested that such a scheme could be tied to a fee, as an individual contribution to the EU budget, perhaps equivalent to what we currently pay in per person.
Yes, there has been support. Guy Verhofstadt, MEP and Brexit coordinator for the European Parliament, has been suggesting the idea at EU level since 2016 and recently reiterated his support in a letter to British citizens worried about losing their EU membership.
After the 2016 referendum, several high-profile politicians, including Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood, said they would be interested in schemes that allow British citizens to keep their European rights. More recently, Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, expressed his support for an associate membership system during a visit to Brussels. We believe that support will continue to grow as our campaign becomes more prominent.
The UK government is unlikely to support such a scheme, but in principle it is possible for the EU to offer associate citizenship directly. We believe the transition period can be a chance to push for them to do so.
We understand that associate citizenship itself would do nothing for EU citizens living in Britain, as they will anyway retain EU citizenship but are at risk of losing rights in the UK. We support the3million's campaign for settled status to be made an automatic right and commit to defending the rights of our fellow Europeans to continue to live, work and study in Britain.
While it would ultimately be up to the EU, it is our aim that the scheme would be open to all UK citizens, wherever they are resident.
Look at it this way: no country has ever left the EU before. In truth, we don't know yet what's possible – this is an entirely new situation. So far tens of thousands of people want this. We can put on huge pressure.
This is an independent grassroots campaign. We’re not associated with any political party or pre-existing campaign against the EU. We have people from all walks of life and all ages volunteering to make this the unique campaign that it is. Find out who our spokespeople are.
First and foremost: by joining the campaign and spreading the word on social media to your family and friends. We’re also always looking for volunteers to help out with the day-to-day running of the campaign, so do send us an email if you have some time and skills to offer.