“Brexit means Brexit” exclaimed UK Prime Minister Theresa May in July 2016 in a surprising about-turn on her previous EU-supporting stance, a simple sentence that surely sunk the hearts of millions of Brits clinging to the hope of a second referendum.
The UK was after all still reeling from the aftershock of the June 23rd referendum that saw its citizens vote to leave the European Union; sterling had plummeted to its lowest value in decades, banks and big businesses were panicking and looking at new options for relocation within the remaining EU nations, hate-crime had skyrocketed, and the whole world seemed to be viewing the UK once more as a backward, racist, small-minded island.
Millions of non-Breixteers openly speculated that surely common sense would prevail, people would realize this was a terrible mistake, and the necessary steps would be taken to avoid any further catastrophe. “Theresa May is one of us” they believed. After all, when she had been a member of previous PM David Cameron’s cabinet, she had always been a staunch Europhile.
And then she dropped the “Brexit means Brexit” bomb, and seemingly all hope was lost.
Brexit’s Legality Challenged
That was until an extremely brave and noble woman named Gina Miller had the gumption to question the legality of Brexit. According to UK law, a public referendum can only serve in an advisory capacity, and the ultimate decision whether to leave or remain within the EU must be taken by Parliament. Therefore, even though the British public had narrowly voted to leave the European Union, that would not be enough to trigger Article 50 and begin the actual process of leaving.
This meant that MPs would vote on whether to remain in the EU or leave, and as the majority of politicians had been in favor of remaining in Europe, there is a chance that Brexit could be overturned. However, would MPs be prepared to go against the wishes of the constituents who had elected them? Despite their personal preferences, they may ultimately feel obliged to vote in favor of Brexit.
But just when all hope seemed lost, a Euro MP came up with an idea that was at once simple and brilliant – Associate EU Citizenship.
Associate EU Citizenship – A Stroke of Genius?
Associate EU Citizenship is the brainchild of a Luxembourg liberal MEP named Charles Goerens who is also a member of the European Parliament. Mr Goerens hit upon the idea that British citizens who also wish to remain EU citizens could simply pay an annual fee directly into the EU budget to do so.
An associate citizen would thus retain their EU citizenship after Brexit, continue with the same level of freedom of movement within the EU, enjoy the right to reside in another EU country under existing rules and to vote in European elections.
They would be able to continue to holiday in Spain or France or Italy or Greece and not have to worry about organizing visas for the family. They would be able to travel on business trips throughout the EU with the same freedom. If they had always planned to retire to the Costa del Sol, the Algarve or the Riviera, to purchase a property and still receive their pension, they could still follow those dreams.
The idea has the full support of former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, now an influential member of the EU Parliament and the legislature’s chief Brexit negotiator. The European Parliament will vote on the proposal this month (December 2016).
Of course, die-hard Breixteers in the shape of MP’s like Nigel Farage and David Davies are already trying their level best to destroy the concept before it gets off the ground. However, should the European Parliament vote in favor of Associate EU Citizenship, it will be out of their hands, and the only issue will be its cost.
Second citizenship specialists 2ndPassports.com were established in Switzerland in 2004, and have since opened offices in Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia, the US and the UK. 2ndPassports.com specialize primarily in Citizenship by Investment (CBI), the increasingly popular and completely legal practice of an individual obtaining the citizenship of a second country by making a financial investment to that nation’s infrastructure, usually in the form of a real estate purchase.
CBI enables high net-worth individuals from areas like Asia, Africa and the Middle East who have not previously enjoyed the freedom to travel freely and to live and work where they please the opportunity to do so by becoming an EU citizen. Nations who currently offer CBI programs include Austria, Belgium, Greece, Hungary and Malta.
Should Brexit indeed take place, Associate EU Citizenship will become a highly viable option for British citizens, and there is even the possibility that it could be available for citizens of other, non-EU countries. 2ndPassports.com will be monitoring these events closely, and when Associate EU Citizenship becomes available, will be there to offer help, guidance and assistance during the acquisition process.
If you would like more information regarding Associate EU Citizenship, or any of the CBI programs featured on the 2ndPassports.com homepage – both in Europe and the Caribbean, you can email or message us via WhatsApp or Telegram, or if you prefer, phone or Skype us and speak directly to one of our expert representatives, all in the strictest confidence. You will find all of 2ndPassports.com’s contact details on our homepage.
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