Credit: Mike Dickinson

On Wednesday 8 November 2017, BRILL held a conference at the European Convention Centre Luxembourg on Place de l'Europe in Kirchberg entitled "Brexit and Citizes' Rights".

Last July, British Immigrants Living in Luxembourg (BRILL) asbl started life as a Facebook group, following the referendum in Britain on 23 June last year. The members were/are primarily expatriate British nationals living in Luxembourg who were concerned about the implications of the withdrawl of Britain from the EU; they then decided to create a formal and legal structure. They also operate an email Newsletter.

The conference attracted almost 200 participants; it was sponsored by the office of Charles Goerens MEP, and speakers included Fiona Godfrey, Chair of BRILL and Vice-Chair of British in Europe, Charles Goerens MEP, Yuriko Backes from the European Commission's Luxembourg Representation, Corinne Cahen, Luxembourg Minister for Family and Integration, and His Excellency John Marshall, the British Ambassador to Luxembourg.

After presentations by the principal speakers, a lively questions and answers session involved the audience. Most of the questions expressed concerns about the loss of rights enjoyed by the estimated 1.2 million British citizens living in the EU27, and the roughly 3 million EU27 citizens living in Britain.

It appears that, amongst many issues, the current state of the Brexit negotiations would leave the 3M UK residents, most of whom are of working age, without the right to bring dependents, such as parents and adult children into the UK. Likewise, British citizens who live in the EU would lose the freedom to relocate in a country other than the one in which they currently live and work. Also, cross-border workers would apparently lose the right to found or run businesses in Luxembourg. 

After an animated but disciplined discussion, a reception was hosted by Charles Goerens' office.

BRILL membership is open to UK nationals living, studying and/or working in Luxembourg, and to Luxembourgish nationals living, studying and/or working in the UK - see www.brill-luxembourg.org for details.