MESSAGE FROM THE PRIME MINISTER
I am delighted to wish all Conservatives Abroad members a very Merry Christmas, and to send my best wishes for 2018.
I am grateful everything you have done for our Party this year, particularly during the general election campaign, encouraging Conservatives living overseas to register and exercise their right to vote, and providing vital help to marginal seats at home. I know that we can continue to count on your support for the year ahead.
As 2017 comes to a close, I am delighted to have fulfilled the promise I made to UK nationals living in other EU countries at the start of the Brexit negotiations. From the beginning, I made it clear that any deal guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens living in the UK would be dependent on such an offer being reciprocated for our UK nationals in the remaining Member States – and that is exactly what we have achieved.
From speaking to my counterparts across Europe, I know that they hugely value the UK nationals living in their communities. We have worked hard to address the very complex and technical issues that needed working through before a formal agreement could be reached. The agreement guarantees that the rights of UK residents in the EU will be protected in the Withdrawal Agreement, so they can have certainty that they will be able to receive healthcare rights, pensions, and other benefit provisions as they do today. They can also benefit from existing rules for past and future social security contributions.
While I hope this agreement will bring some reassurance, I know there are a few important issues that have yet to be concluded. We raised these concerns – including the ability of UK nationals living in the EU to retain certain rights if they move within the EU – but the EU was not ready to discuss them in this phase of the negotiations. We will continue to raise them in the New Year.
I will continue to push for the best possible deal for British nationals across the EU. The constructive way in which these talks have been conducted gives me confidence that we will achieve a final deal which reflects the strong partnership between the UK and our European friends, and which is in the mutual interest of citizens living across the continent.
I wish you and your families a merry Christmas and a very happy New Year.
Leader of the Conservative Party
President of Conservatives Abroad
CONSERVATIVES ABROAD CHRISTMAS NEWSLETTER
As we reach the end of 2017, I thank all our overseas supporters for giving time to Conservatives Abroad this year, especially the key representatives https://www.conservativesabroad.org/find-your-representative who have organised events, some at extremely short notice, as we continue to make our parliamentarians aware of our global presence.
Bahrain CA Representative, Sandy Whitford MBE (inset) with Secretary of State for Defence Rt.Hon Gavin Williamson MP.
I also thank the branches who have taken part in the Conservative Policy Forum, helped increase voter registration, held social events, been active on social media, grown membership and I single out the BCIP – (Paris branch) to thank for their generous support presented at the CA 2017 Conference at the Conrad St James.
Diary date: Conservatives Abroad Conference and Carlton Club Dinner Thursday 4 October 2018.
News! – we welcome the appointment of Oliver Colevile, former MP for Plymouth Sutton & Devonport to Conservatives Abroad. Oliver was a former Conservative Agent in the London Borough of Merton, he brings a wealth of Parliamentary experience to CA and therefore very well equipped to champion our cause, especially on Votes for Life.
Votes for Life will take the next step to becoming reality on Friday 23rd February 2018 when Glyn Davies, MP for Montgomeryshire, has a second reading of his Votes for Life Private Members’ Bill. This bill honours the Party manifesto to scrap the 15 year limit on overseas voters in UK elections and you will receive a Newsletter in the New Year with more detail.
If you would like to receive updates by email please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With best wishes
Heather Harper MBE
Chairman Conservatives Abroad