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The anti-Brexit group called “New Europeans” has announced plans to mark the end of the freedom of movement of people between the UK and the EU as new laws come into force at 11pm on December 31. A virtual event featuring testimonies from pro-EU supporters will be live-streamed on social media from 11am-11pm on New Year’s Eve.
On its website, the group is described as a “civil rights organisation which champions freedom of movement, non-discrimination and the principle of solidarity in Europe”.
In a statement to promote the event, the group compares the end of freedom of movement to having a favourite Christmas gift taken away.
Participants will have the opportunity to sign a so-called declaration of solidarity between people in the UK and people in the rest of Europe.
Roger Casale, Executive Director, New Europeans, said: “The road will still be long and winding.
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“In the end it may well lead back to the door of the EU.”
He added: “We have invited people from all over Europe to share their memories and tell their stories.
“In a show of solidarity we ask people to look beyond politics at the human lives that have been touched in so many positive ways as a result of freedom of movement and the overcoming of borders.”
Britain will take back control of its borders from the EU by using a points-based immigration system.
Millions of EU citizens have already registered to stay in the UK through the European settlement scheme, with successful applicants granted the right to continue living and working in the UK indefinitely.
Others who have lived continuously in the country for five years can obtain settled status.
Meanwhile, EU nationals with less than five years’ residence in the UK can apply for pre-settled status, which can later be converted into settled status.
From January 1, UK citizens can travel and stay in the EU for up to 90 days in any 180-day period, but may need a visa to stay for longer.
The Brexit roadmap was finally completed on Christmas Eve after the UK and the EU agreed a landmark trade deal.
The historic agreement allows the flow of goods and services between the UK and Europe – worth £660billion.
Britain officially left the EU in January following the passing of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, but remained tied to EU rules throughout the 11-month transition period.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the trade deal as a “new beginning” for Britain.
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MPs will return to the House of Commons on December 30 to scrutinise and vote on the deal.
It is expected to sail through parliament as the Tories have a 79-majority, while Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has reluctantly said the opposition will support it.
The European Parliament and all 27 EU member states must also approve the treaty before it is made into law.
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