Annuaire association

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INTRODUCTION

During the mid-1970s, Her Majesty's Government was proposing severe restrictions on non-British spouses joining their spouses in the UK.

This was closely followed towards the end of the 1970s by a Green Paper proposing major changes in British Nationality law, which would, if adopted, have removed all citizenship from many millions of people. ARBA at the time was joined by a substantial number of expatriates in Luxembourg and Denmark, and made contact with other groups in Paris, Cairo and Caracas. As a result of our input and with great help from several Members of both the House of Lords and the House of Commons, the British Nationality Act of 1981 created many millions less stateless persons than would have been created without our direct input and lobbying by many other groups.

In the mid-1980s we also fought for the extension of voting rights for expatriate Britons - these were ultimately extended to 20 years after one's departure from the UK, but in 2000, with effect from 2001, reduced to 15 years.

Since these successes, and without further matters sufficiently grave to mobilise expatriates sufficiently again, the Brussels and Luxembourg branches of ARBA have been largely inactive. Unlike many other countries' expatriate organisations, ARBA has never had any social or general welfare role, as these are extremely well covered by other organisations on a local level.

 

However, with the rapidly increasing number of expatriates, both short to medium term and long term, the number of cases of injustice and discriminatory treatment are also increasing, and there is a growing body of expatriates who feel it is time once again to take action together in order to persuade Her Majesty's Government to remove these injustices, which broadly fall into the categories of financial discrimination (pensions frozen or not according to country of residence, double taxation etc.) and loss or lack of representation - who can one turn to if not one's MP? But if we are prevented from having an MP, we can only hope to find one or several who are sympathetic to our cause.

The Danish branch of ARBA has since become the "British European Association" and is very active, also on the more social side.

In 1984, ARBA joined The Europeans throughout the World, a Brussels-based confederation of associations of expatriate citizens of European countries.



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