Who we are:
Brexpats - Hear Our Voice, (BHOV), is a pro-EU group, campaigning for the preservation of rights of British nationals in the EU. We also support EU citizens in the UK. Our members, currently over 1100, are primarily British in the EU but also EU nationals in the UK, and we place a high value on working together. Although we face different issues, we are two groups living in a prolonged state of limbo, which has been forced upon us, and we provide support to our members to help them get through these unprecedented difficult times. Our map here shows the geographical spread of our members, and to find out more about our members click here.
BHOV was founded shortly after the shock result of the referendum by Debbie Williams, a British national now resident in the Netherlands. She was spurred into action by the total lack of any safeguards in place to protect our rights. In recognition of our work, Debbie and BHOV received a European Citizen's Award 2017 from the European Parliament. See below for details.
We are a not-for-profit group and do not receive any funding. Our team of volunteers have a wealth of experience and skills between them, as well as a common conviction that leaving the EU would be a grave error, harming society, its economy and individuals. Whilst negotiations are ongoing, and in the event of the UK going through with leaving the EU, we are working hard to minimise the damage to citizens whose lives have been put on hold. To see more details of our administration team click here.
Currently our main purpose is to:
· raise awareness of the complexities of citizenship rights issues
· ensure our rights are fully protected and ring-fenced in any negotiations
· disseminate information and provide a support network to our members
For the longer term, we shall work to promote a better understanding of British nationals in the EU, their role in British society, why freedom of movement, both from and to the EU, needs to be preserved, and how we fit into the myriad of sound reasons for remaining in the EU.
Our main activities at the moment:
· extensive lobbying campaigns, often involving our members
· engaging in dialogue with UK/EU parliamentarians/committees, and giving evidence
· cooperating closely with sister groups representing citizens
· participating in the coalition British in Europe
· updating members on developments concerning their rights
· providing members with news summaries and keeping archives
· alerting members of upcoming events relating to citizens' rights
· managing an online platform for members, to help reduce ongoing anxiety
· putting together profiles of group members to show who we are
· compiling based on polls amongst members (click here for details)
If you are a British national in the EU, or an EU national in the UK, and would like to be actively involved and have the moral support of a group, join our closed Facebook group Brexpats - Hear Our Voice You can also follow us on Twitter here
European Citizen's Prize 2017
In June 2017, we were delighted and honoured to be awarded the European Citizen's Prize 2017.
Thank you to Jean Lambert MEP for the nomination and to the EU for the recognition.
And of course to everybody who has contributed to Brexpats HOV and has helped us secure this award.
The Campaign For Europe blog provides additional information about this award. This can be accessed here.
Our website is divided in to four key sections. The first section "Citizens Rights" seeks to provide some background on negotiations between the UK and EU on how EU Nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU should be treated post Brexit. The second section "Our Work" documents what our group have achieved on our own and also in association with other similar minded groups. Although most of the different pro-EU groups have slightly different interests and objectives, we believe it is imperative to work together on the many aims that we share. As a group, we are definitely far stronger than the sum of the individual parts. In addition to the work we have done, this section also includes general information on what has been happening since the EU Referendum in June 2016.
The third main section tries to set out the things that we would recommend people do who share the same interests as us. There is a general advice section followed by specific initiatives which are current and need supporting. It is obviously easier not to do anything yourself, but we would urge you to do all you possibly can. An extra email from all members of this group really can make a difference. Indeed, the efforts of members of our group in sending emails and twitter messages really made an impact on the House of Lords vote on protecting the rights of EU Nationals in the UK in March 2017. Indeed, during the debate a number of Lords and Baronesses referred to the information we were sending them. This section also lets you know how you can get in touch with us and invites you to join our group. Please do this if you hold the same interests as us. It does not obligate you to do anything, but it does allow us to quote the numbers of our members when writing to politicians and obviously the higher the number of people we can say we represent, the more powerful our voice will be.
The fourth main section is a support section for our members who are struggling to cope with the uncertainties and impact of Brexit. We would like to do much more in this area as soon as we possibly can. If people though are really struggling with the uncertainties that Brexit is causing, please get in touch with us and we will do all we possibly can to help.