As Theresa May readied herself in Florence to deliver her latest BREXIT speech, British in Italy organised about 100 British and Italian citizens to protest against the UK Governments failure to protect citizens rights in the Brexit negotiations.

The protest was organised to show solidarity for EU citizens in the UK as well as British citizens living in the EU. Gareth Horsfall, the main organiser, said on the day, “The motivation and reason for such activity is to fight to keep our EU acquired rights…those that could affect our freedom of movement in the future, the right to work in other EU states as an EU citizen, the right to have our qualifications recognised in our current EU state of residence and any that we may subsequently move to, the right to keep our healthcare rights and especially those of a lot of older British people living in oher EU states who rely on it, the right to have our social security contributions taken into account from other EU states and all the interconnected rights that go with these things.”  He also went on to say “We are all in this together and should fight to stop it. Its not about stopping BREXIT but just about treating people fairly and not ruining peoples lives and potentially pulling families apart”.

Outside the 14th century Novella church in the centre of Florence, the group sang and chanted with flags and banners, one reading “Denied a vote – Denied a voice”. The worldwide media were present and British in Italy and many people present had the opportunity to speak with journalists and during the day and explain our concerns.

As a reminder, these are the stated objectives for British in Italy

  • British in Italy is a group of UK citizens resident in Italy concerned about the effect of Brexit on the many thousands of UK citizens in Italy and the half million or so Italians in the UK
  • Our aim is to ensure that Brexit does not penalise these individuals, all of whom made the decision to move across the Channel in bona fide and relying on their EU right of freedom of movement
  • UK citizens already in Italy and Italians already in the UK should therefore continue to have all the rights they had acquired or were in the process of acquiring while the UK was in the EU
  • We have already lobbied the UK government hard not to take these rights away from EU citizens in the UK

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