Tanja Bueltmann is a citizens’ rights campaigner and founder of EU Citizens’ Champion.
Born in Germany and an EU citizen herself, Tanja, like the 3.6 million EU citizens who made the UK their home, is immediately affected by Brexit and by the upheavals it has brought.
Forced to apply to stay in our own home? Shameful doesn’t get more shameful than that.
During the EU referendum all Leave campaigners promised that nothing would change for EU citizens at home in the UK and that their rights would be protected automatically. That turned out to be a lie: now all EU citizens, regardless of how long they have lived in the UK, are being forced to apply to stay in their home. If they fail to do so by a particular deadline (this varies depending on whether there is a deal or not), they will become unlawful overnight. That is not acceptable. And that is why Tanja is fighting to protect the rights of EU citizens. None of them should be left behind because of Brexit.
the3million are the leading not for profit organisation formed after the EU referendum to protect the rights of EU citizens who made the UK their home. the3million lobby and do other advocacy work; they help EU citizens through outreach and engagement activities; and they take the government to court if needs be to protect the future of millions. Tanja wanted to do more to support these brilliant campaigners and activists because it is not acceptable that much of what the3million do is still carried primarily through volunteered time. That is how the idea for EU Citizens’ Champion was born. EU citizens need further support to ensure their rights are protected. They need champions to help with that. Tanja is not formally involved with the3million.
To learn more about why Tanja founded this campaign, read her article ‘You’re safe here … until you’re not’: EU citizens in the UK are fighting for their rights.
Campaigning is only one part of Tanja’s story, however. In ‘normal’ life she is a Professor of History, with a specific focus on diaspora and migration history, at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne. So in professional terms too Tanja has an interest in Brexit.
Select TV appearances, articles, interviews and speeches about citizens’ rights
‘Die Methode Boris Johnson – kommt der britische Premier damit durch?’, Anne Will Talkshow, 8 September 2019
‘Com o Brexit a UE mostrou que ser cidadão europeu significa nada’, Diario de Noticias, 11 May 2019
‘Gekommen, um zu bleiben’, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 21 April 2019
‘Die Angst, zum einfachen Ausländer degradiert zu werden’, Die Welt, 7 April 2019
‘Dass wir EU-Bürger so unter die Räder kommen, habe ich nicht erwartet’, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 15 December 2017
‘Denied My Vote’, CakeWatch Podcast, 29 May 2019
Speech at The Convention, London, 4 June 2019
You can follow Tanja on Twitter @cliodiaspora