As you will be well aware, on 1 January 2021 British citizens in Belgium will wake up to a dramatically different relationship between the UK and the EU and this will have an impact on all our lives.
In 2017 the ‘Brexit and the Belgian Brits (BABBS)’ Facebook group was set up as a support network for individuals with common Brexit-related problems. Now with some 1500 members, BABBS members share tips on how to obtain EU citizenship and other administrative issues, as well as Brexit-related news.
In late November 2020, documentary filmmaker Anny Tubbs approached BABBS organisers with an idea to highlight how Brexit is affecting the ordinary lives of British people living in Belgium. She proposed to work with interested BABBS members on planning and crowdfunding the production of a short film to bring BABBS members closer together, give them a voice and use screenings to raise awareness of ongoing issues.
The reasons why we Brits came to be in Belgium are many: some came for work, others for love. But each one of us has benefited from the freedom, spontaneity and flexibility that EU membership gave us. By highlighting these stories, the film will document a historic moment and explore what the future holds.
BABBS is inviting Brits in Belgium to be a part of this community project by contributing to the fundraising for the film fundraiser. A dedicated fundraising webpage has been set up where you can choose to be an anonymous or recognised donor – see your name up in lights, or even spend half a day on set to experience movie-making ‘for reel’. The target for fundraising is EUR 10 000 and if the target is not reached then donations will be reimbursed.
New Year’s Eve Brexit wake
BABBS also invites you to a sombre occasion to mark the last day of the UK's transition out of the European Union. It will be a sad day and due to the COVID curfew the plan is for a short event from 7pm to 8pm on 31 December 2020 outside the British Embassy at Avenue d'Auderghem 10, 1040 Brussels (nearest Metro Schuman).
Suggested dress: Mourning Black with EU Facemasks or similar and please bring a candle to light (or similar illumination).
BABBS tell us that Ixelles police have limited the maximum number of people allowed for this event to 100 and COVID rules also restrict gatherings to no more than 4 adults in one group, so attendees will need to stand in groups of a maximum of 4 people (socially distanced of course).
If you are thinking of attending the vigil, please fill in this Google doc so BABBS can liaise with the local police. You do not need to include your email address and/or GSM if you do not want to. You can also use the form to arrange to join a 4-person group before the event.
The event will be filmed, so if you do not wish to appear in the film, please let the organisers know when you get there.