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  #161  
Old 16.03.2018, 07:26
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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Why have the roadshows in the weeks preceding a time when they will be able to enlighten us? Where was the initial consultation roadshows when they could compile a decent list of the issues that genuinely affect us and go into discussions well briefed? As was said further up the thread, it shouldn't be up to us to educate them on residency permits and Swiss recruitment criteria of foreign nationals. They should know this better than the back of their hands.
Wow, some of you display such a lack of emotional intelligence it is frightening. They very obviously did it to give the impression that they care and are listening to concerns of British expat citizens about Brexit. It was essentially a PR exercise and one that was from my side not unappreciated because in the end they did at least ease, or even in some cases put to rest, some valid permit and citizenship concerns.
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  #162  
Old 16.03.2018, 09:14
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

The last couple of pages of this thread are comedy gold.
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  #163  
Old 16.03.2018, 10:56
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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You expect more from government employees?
Yes because even I knew those basic facts before entering the country, and with less than 4 weeks notice.
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Wow, some of you display such a lack of emotional intelligence it is frightening.
King of the cheap shots at it again. Quelle surprise!
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They very obviously did it to give the impression that they care and are listening to concerns of British expat citizens about Brexit. It was essentially a PR exercise and one that was from my side not unappreciated because in the end they did at least ease, or even in some cases put to rest, some valid permit and citizenship concerns.
Yes, they did ease some concerns, but also showed a lack of some very basic knowledge, i.e. residency permits & employment selection criteria. After speaking to several people who attended, they all picked up on the same. When I handed in my papers at the end of the event, one of the Embassy staff read through my answers and passed me over to another staff member who went through the queries in a lot more detail. He was very clear with exactly what the Embassy do and didn't know at this stage, and how the questionaires would be extremely helpful in planning their next round of talks, so if anyone would like to complete the papers posted yesterday and email or post them to Bern, I feel sure they would be welcomed.

I fully expected a lot of "We don't know yet" answers, because the UK Embassy in Spain are on their third round of these roadshows and gave a lot of those responses in the first two rounds. As the Ambassador said, much of the final bilateral deal agreed between the UK and Switzerland will be dependent upon the deal agreed between the UK and EU, so I find it helpful to refer to the Brexit Roadshows that recently took place in Germany as they are a step closer to the 'coal face'.

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  #164  
Old 16.03.2018, 11:13
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

So what is the actual point of an embassy?
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  #165  
Old 16.03.2018, 11:37
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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So what is the actual point of an embassy?
Especially when they don't know it's a legal requirement to register if your living in Germany.
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  #166  
Old 16.03.2018, 12:21
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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So what is the actual point of an embassy?
That was the first thing she told us (at least an ambassador), I (probably not 100% accurately) summerise.
1. To promote the UK's profile in the country(ies)
2. To promote trade and businesses between the UK and the country(ies)
3. To look after the UK citizens in the country(ies)

Probably in that order too.
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Old 16.03.2018, 12:31
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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That was the first thing she told us (at least an ambassador), I (probably not 100% accurately) summerise.
1. To promote the UK's profile in the country(ies)
2. To promote trade and businesses between the UK and the country(ies)
3. To look after the UK citizens in the country(ies)

Probably in that order too.
LOL, nice work if you can get it, eh! Riding on the coat-tails of those who do the actual graft, like our cheese-selling friend...
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  #168  
Old 16.03.2018, 12:47
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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LOL, nice work if you can get it, eh! Riding on the coat-tails of those who do the actual graft, like our cheese-selling friend...
Working at the British embassy of Switzerland is probably one of the cushiest jobs in the world.
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  #169  
Old 16.03.2018, 13:51
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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So what is the actual point of an embassy?
To provide well paying jobs for all the ambassadors and their staff.
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  #170  
Old 16.03.2018, 13:56
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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To provide well paying jobs for all the ambassadors and their staff.
They could have paid me to deliver this roadshow. I'd have done it for a quarter of the price:

"Well, no, we have no idea what's going to happen. Yeah, well, I can't imagine you'll all be deported en masse - this is Switzerland, not Uganda. Lots of non-EU people have C-permits, sure. Yeah, there might be a few less B-permits going for fresh-off-the-boaters, but that's more jobs for the lads with C-permits, right? No, I have no idea what's going to happen with your very complicated transnational business which - oooh, is that a tray of ferrero roches I see? You can email any further questions to my boss in Whitehall. She'll be delighted to ignore mfff mffff mfff has anyone mff mffff mfff got a napkin mff mfff nom nom nom..."
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  #171  
Old 16.03.2018, 21:31
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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Wow, some of you display such a lack of emotional intelligence it is frightening. They very obviously did it to give the impression that they care and are listening to concerns of British expat citizens about Brexit. It was essentially a PR exercise and one that was from my side not unappreciated because in the end they did at least ease, or even in some cases put to rest, some valid permit and citizenship concerns.
Coming from you classic.
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  #172  
Old 16.03.2018, 21:43
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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They could have paid me to deliver this roadshow. I'd have done it for a quarter of the price:

"Well, no, we have no idea what's going to happen. Yeah, well, I can't imagine you'll all be deported en masse - this is Switzerland, not Uganda. Lots of non-EU people have C-permits, sure. Yeah, there might be a few less B-permits going for fresh-off-the-boaters, but that's more jobs for the lads with C-permits, right? No, I have no idea what's going to happen with your very complicated transnational business which - oooh, is that a tray of ferrero roches I see? You can email any further questions to my boss in Whitehall. She'll be delighted to ignore mfff mffff mfff has anyone mff mffff mfff got a napkin mff mfff nom nom nom..."
That was pretty much it in a nutshell, without the Ferrero Roches sadly.
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  #173  
Old 24.03.2018, 12:10
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

I attended the event in Vaduz yesterday evening; I'll try and remember most of it, apologies if I miss anything. It was a slightly different affair from the large events in Zurich and Basel. There were only 11 attendees so everyone got to ask lots of questions, and just the Ambassador talking, no project screens or video links or anything. The ambassador - inevitably I guess - was putting forward the views of the UK govt in its current flavour but seemed to have boned up a lot more compared with what previous posters have reported from the Basel and Zurich events.

General points:
1. There are 40,000 British citizens in CH [so few?] and 57 in FL.
2. CH is the UK's 2nd biggest export market outside the EU - only the US is larger
3. Now the transition period has been agreed this week, nothing will change until after 31.12.2020; that also applies to UK citizens looking to move to Switzerland as EU citizens
4. After that nobody really knows, because negotiations on that are only now "allowed" to start
5. UK/Swiss arrangements in the future are likely to be dependent on - or at least decided in light of - the UK/EU agreement, but both CH and UK have a strong interest in achieving some form of bilateral agreement, particularly on FOM
6. The intention is that anyone who has already exercised their FOM rights should be able to continue as they are, but "onward movement" is more unlikely
7. There is a private member's bill currently going through parliament to abolish the 15-year absence limit on voting rights, which is expected to go through smoothly, so those of us who have been out of the country for over 15 years will soon have our voting rights restored

In response to questions re after 31.12.2020:
- UK state pensions for EU/CH residents should continue to be uplifted along with those for UK residents as now
- EU students currently studying in the UK and those starting in autumn 2018 & 2019 will be able to finish their 3-year course no problem. Those starting in autumn 2020 have a question mark as there is a proposal that they will only be able to study for 2 years, which the ambassador said she felt is a bit odd given that UK courses are min 3 years
- One chap asked whether CH will re-impose quotas on UK citizens after Brexit as a third country - answer nobody knows
- Some people asking about their B permit status, what if they needed to leave CH for a couple of years for work then wanted to come back because their life is now here
- A question about being forced to move all your money out of CH back to the UK and close accounts here if you (are forced to) leave after Brexit and the tax implications and costs of that
- One chap grew up in London and did his schooling and university in the UK, but he and his whole family hold German passports, only his mother and younger sister hold UK passports - question, what happens if he wanted to return to the UK or e.g. needed to care for his British citizen mother? Ambassador didn't know; he would have to move back to the UK before Dec 2020 to take up residence to even have a chance of British citizenship
- Re my situation with the delivery of cross-border services with self-employed status, I've been asked to e-mail the ambassador because she was unaware of the provisions of the EU draft withdrawal agreement, partic. Art 32. She was assuring us that a self-employed UK citizen living in France would be able to work in CH as a frontalier, but hadn't considered that Art 32 on the face of it would appear to prevent a self-employed UK citizen living in CH from delivering services in France. She seem to confirm to me that the EU/CH bilaterals as they stand do not cover services. She said Art 32 as it seems to read is not what she understands both sides to want to achieve (see general point 6 above) and it is one she seems interested in raising with the UK govt
- I asked about whether the UK govt would support the moves from NL to take the issue of EU citizenship/possibility of associate EU citizenship to the European Court (Art 20 of Lisbon states that EU citizenship is additional to national citizenship) and the ambassador's response was that the European Commission is strongly against it and has deemed it illegal. To which my response was, I don't care what the Commission says, because they have vested interests just like anyone else - I care about whether the UK govt is going fight for the existing rights of its citizens abroad. I wasn't very reassured with the tenor of the response.


In summary: it was definitely a useful event to go to; there was, as expected, a lot of "we just don't know yet" but it clarified that that now relates to post 2020 i.e. there is now a little more breathing space. I was impressed that everyone in attendance was very pragmatic and non-political. I had expected some heated views on whether or not Brexit should or should not happen and some recriminations over the whole thing, but the only issue on which frustration was expressed was from those of us who had been denied the right to vote in the referendum. Otherwise it was very much focused on where do we go from here and how will it affect individual situations. The focus, unsurprisingly, was mostly on FOM.

Last edited by eng_ch; 24.03.2018 at 13:29.
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  #174  
Old 24.03.2018, 13:12
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

Thank you for your very detailed report. It will definitely help with refining questions for future roadshows. I must say, there are a number of points in your post that I find unencouraging and frankly depressing.

I still struggle to get my head around the fact that British citizens can be stripped of rights and freedoms that they've enjoyed for 40yrs, and in many cases, all of their lives, yet the sitting government of the day doesn't appear to view that as a matter of grave importance and concern. If these same losses were to occur under any circumstance other than Brexit, there would be justifiable outrage.
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  #175  
Old 24.03.2018, 13:21
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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I still struggle to get my head around the fact that British citizens can be stripped of rights and freedoms that they've enjoyed for 40yrs, and in many cases, all of their lives, yet the sitting government of the day doesn't appear to view that as a matter of grave importance and concern. If these same losses were to occur under any circumstance other than Brexit, there would be justifiable outrage.
I concur. And it feels as if a "few" people losing their livelihoods - especially those who are not allowed to vote - seems to be regarded as acceptable collateral damage. And as for under 15s who will have absolutely no opportunity to exercise existing rights before the end of the transition period in order to retain them...
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  #176  
Old 24.03.2018, 13:57
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

On the questions sheet that you could submit at the end of the evening, my question was roughly... when the voting rights of the people who lost them under the 15yrs rule are restored (which is highly likely), would that not make a good case for the referendum to be rerun to include these citizens who are directly and hugely affected?

I was surprised that the Ambassador was a little sketchy over the details of the Overseas Electors Bill when the info is in the public domain.

https://services.parliament.uk/bills...selectors.html

Just as a side note, the margin the the EU Referendum was only 1,265,901.
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  #177  
Old 24.03.2018, 14:05
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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On the questions sheet that you could submit at the end of the evening, my question was roughly... when the voting rights of the people who lost them under the 15yrs rule are restored (which is highly likely), would that not make a good case for the referendum to be rerun to include these citizens who are directly and hugely affected?
I asked whether they would be restored in time for a potential 2nd referendum and the answer was a very forceful "ain't gonna happen" (re a new referendum)
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  #178  
Old 24.03.2018, 18:39
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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I still struggle to get my head around the fact that British citizens can be stripped of rights and freedoms that they've enjoyed for 40yrs
They aren't natural birthrights. They are political and administrative rights given to people who are citizens of member countries of the EU. If the UK is not in the EU then obviously some of those rights will be lost. (I expect some to be retained, but that's just a personal opinion/instinct at this stage. Depends how negotiations go.)

I hope that doesn't sound flippant but that was what we voted on in the referendum. Did we want to retain all these rights, and accept the downsides of being in the EU? Or did we want to give some/most of them up, in exchange for being outside the EU? So we were not "stripped" of these rights. We had a vote on the issue and we decided to give them up. This is why "the sitting government of the day doesn't appear to view that as a matter of grave importance and concern" -- all they are doing is implementing the result of the vote.

I don't want to get involved in whether the right decision was made -- that's water under the bridge for me now. But "we" (in the broad sense) did volunteer to relinquish these rights ourselves.

Thanks to @eng_ch for the very interesting summary of your meeting.
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  #179  
Old 24.03.2018, 19:51
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

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I hope that doesn't sound flippant but that was what we voted on in the referendum. Did we want to retain all these rights, and accept the downsides of being in the EU? Or did we want to give some/most of them up, in exchange for being outside the EU? So we were not "stripped" of these rights. We had a vote on the issue and we decided to give them up.
Those that actually got a vote.... Sore, moi? (Actually still livid)
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Old 24.03.2018, 20:36
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Re: Brexit (and other UK stuff) information roadshow in Swizterland

The UK is way down the table on trading partnerships with Switzerland, are people buying the BS from these roadshows, the U.K. makes up a meagre 4.8% Wiki it please

Even according to the office of statistics Switzerland is 5th as an export partner country and 7th as a import partner country.

Last edited by TobiasM; 24.03.2018 at 21:35.
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