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At the beginning of July 2016, as soon as the implications of the referendum became very clear, I wrote to seven different points in the EU asking for individual citizenship. At the beginning of December, the matter will be debated in the European Parliament. Whether my letter had any bearing on this matter being considered is irrelevant.

That I and others can be denied our EU membership by other UK citizens is, I consider, a breach of my human rights.

I publish below the full text of my letter in the hope that others will write to strengthen the demand.

 

"Re: My Personal EU Citizenship

On 23rd June 2016 a poorly formulated referendum resulted in a small majority for Britain to leave the European Union.

This referendum was not staged using rules normally applied to such major decisions. There are traditionally safeguards against protest votes in the form of set percentages to be achieved in order to change the status quo. Such safeguards were ignored in this instant.

Politicians elected at a general election conducted the campaign against Britain’s continued membership of the EU. They were returned to parliament to implement the manifesto that was put to the electorate. Just a few months later, ignoring that commitment, they rebelled against government policy on which they were elected and campaigned to leave the EU.

That this was done with the acquiescence of the government is irrelevant. It was not done with the approval of the electorate. Demonstrating further abuse of the electorate, the principals in the campaign, notably Boris Johnson, Michael Gove, Liam Fox, Nigel Farage and Dominic Cummings, engineered a litany of untruths that were presented to the British public as fact. At an early stage in the campaign these lies were exposed, not least by a Parliamentary Committee, but were sustained as truth throughout the campaign.

As a final insult to the electorate, these rebel politicians delivered a deliberately racist message that shamed the nation, appealed to those for whom racism is a creed and put fear into many for whom it is not. In sum, the anti-EU campaign was conducted by rebel politicians elected for another purpose, was predicated on lies and was shamefully garnished with racism.

That the result is taken as an instrument of democracy is an affront to those people in Britain for whom honesty and absence of racial hatred are treasured values. There are some 16+ million people in Britain who voted to Remain in the EU. They are people for whom community is a way of life and few have any wish to return to isolationist policies that dominated Britain through the period of Empire and up to 1973. These 16+ million people have forsaken the creed of ‘self before all’ and have no wish to be forced to return to it.

The European Union was initially about nations, but it has evolved to promote welfare of individuals, their freedoms and well-being. For many of us it’s not about trade, although we value the prosperity the EU has brought. It’s not about Economics and although those of us who have been in or remember conflict around Europe and elsewhere, it’s not even about the 70 years of a conflict free Europe delivered by the sense of common purpose among European nations. For many of us the EU is singularly about the overall good that comes from community.

I have been a member of the European Community for more than forty years. In Russia, Canada, the USA, France or almost any country in the world, that forty years would be recognised as a qualification for citizenship. Why not in the EU? Like millions of people in Britain I am a fully paid up European. The denial of my citizenship after forty-three years infringes my human rights, a development that you will surely recognise and wish to address. However, I hold this aspect of my case in abeyance in the belief that the EU will act to satisfy my claim by enabling individual EU membership as of right.

My demand is this. Let the European Union prove its community value by devising a scheme whereby British citizens who are currently members of the EU can apply for an EU passport. I would, like millions of others, be happy to pay an appropriate fee for issue. Of course this would be a departure from current policy, but at the same time it is directly in line with EU principles. There is also a long-term political dimension in that the young people of Britain are, unlike many of our geriatric generation, committed to community, the EU and a compassionate society. They will certainly apply to rejoin the EU at some point in the future. In the interim, maintaining their contact with the EU as individual members will give them hope and serve as a reminder that isolationist Britain is a temporary aberration.

I am a European. I have worked for Europe and have carried out military service for Europe. I wish to remain as a European. Please introduce the necessary measures. Europe realises that it must implement reform. Start with this reform. It’s small and simple, but extremely important to millions of British/EU citizens.

Yours sincerely,

Robert Braban