A reply from Guy Verhofstadt

We have had a reply from Guy Verhofstadt to a letter we sent some time ago. It is as follows:

Dear Jim and Jane,

First of all, let me apologise for the delay in replying to your email and thank you for your support. In this difficult negotiating process, it is good to know that citizens are on our side.

I fully understand your worries and the uncertainty you feel because of Brexit. One cannot hide from the fact that the withdrawal of the UK from the EU may have negative consequences for citizens. Safeguarding citizens’ rights is a priority for the EU in its talks with the UK, and the European Parliament has made it very clear from the beginning that it is citizens first. I can assure you that we will continue to push for full rights not only for EU citizens in the UK, but also UK citizens who, like you, live in the EU.

From the moment this process started, I have been convinced that some sort of special solution needs to be found for individual citizens, who want to maintain their ties with the European Union.

However, I have to say that this will be difficult, but what I will promise is that I will do everything I can for people like you who feel European. You are not alone and your voice is being heard.

Kind regards,
Guy Verhofstadt

Encouraging, when we need all we can get!


Mr. Verhofstaedt likes to get on his Twitter horse almost as much as Mr. Trump, but that does nothing to change the fact that his “idea” (or not his, but the one he was championing) for EU citizenship to be made available to those UK citizens resident in the EU and any others from the UK, now seems to have disappeared like the Mary Rose. Perhaps in 500 years time, we might be able to refloat it…

  • the UK government, and no doubt a sizeable fringe of extreme Brexiteers, saw this as an immediate attack on UK sovereignty - “who do they think they are, those EU bureaucrats telling us Brits which nationality we can have”;

  • it did not gain popularity with a significant number of parliamentarians from the other 27 EU states - after all, it would be tantamount to preferential treatment to UK citizens, whose population, lest we forget, expressed its will to a greater than 50% degree to “take back control” - I hear the cries from the more sceptical EU MEPs “Why should we give them anything? They’ve always been the awkward b***gers ever since they joined.” The potential political backlash with the local populace at its next round of EP voting of such a move will not have escaped Mr. Verhofstaedt’s notice, I fear;

  • whilst the idea of having a true EU citizenship/nationality status and corresponding ID/passport would be a federalist’s wet dream come true, the realities of getting anywhere anything like that in the current political context (e.g. Germany, Austria, and the rise of the ultra-right) are simply verging on the infinite.

Back to the drawing board methinks. Unfortunately.


I’ve emailed him a few times on this topic and got very similar replies. He is on our side but has he enough clout to get something done?
Can someone tell me why my reply is being duplicated on the other side of the page…

The duplicate is just a preview, how the post will actually appear on the page. There will be no real differences between the two sides if you are entering simple text but you will see differences if you insert links etc. You can switch the preview off.

Ah…ok thanks!

Very enjoyable comment, Alex Thurgood, in a icily bracing Alpine shower kind of way!

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Very enjoyable comment from Mr Verhofstaedt, Jane, in a cuddly-comfy mug of milky chocolate drink kind of way!

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Hi Peter, I’m ever the optimist, now why is my glass only half full ? :wink:
Living in the Auvergne, you kind of get used to the “douche froide” even in high summer !