Do Brits really deserve associate EU citizenship?
PUBLISHED: 10:08 14 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:20 14 February 2020
Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media
One reader claims associate EU citizenship is simply Remain cakeism.
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I don't see how associate EU citizenship for UK individuals will work, or why it should work. The EU is a noble idea of freedom for all peoples. Its impact and ambition must not be reduced to being an easy passage to living and collecting your UK pension abroad.
Why should I, a British man, have the right to buy citizenship to 27 countries when a man in, say, Poland does not have the right to buy into mine?
This is no doubt coming from the right place, but Remainer cakeism nonetheless.
This feels like an appropriate time to begin a campaign in favour of Guy Verhofstadt's idea of individual associate membership of the EU for UK citizens who wish to apply for it.
I feel that many of us would accept having to pay privately for citizenship; perhaps an annual fee ranging between 500-1,000 euros to cover costs. This payment would give us an European ID card and guarantee free movement. Surely the Brexiters could not object to this as it would not cost them anything?
Ursula von der Leyen says the EU remains "very open" to the idea of associate citizenship but there is considerable confusion and some scepticism about the idea around the EU parliament.
Could I therefore encourage TNE readers to join the 115,000 who have already signed a petition at www.stayeuropean.org asking the EU to create a formal scheme to which we can sign up?
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Almost four years after its creation The New European goes from strength to strength across print and online, offering a pro-European perspective on Brexit and reporting on the political response to the coronavirus outbreak, climate change and international politics. But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the UK national press with your support. If you value what we are doing, you can help us by making a contribution to the cost of our journalism.Become a supporter