Brexit-Übergangsgesetz – Transitional Brexit Act

The German Federal Foreign Ministry has prepared a ministry draft of a potential Transitional Brexit Acdt (Brexit-Übergangsgesetz) – the title alone presents a translation problem. There is an explanation on the website in both German and English.

This Referentenentwurf is something prepared by the relevant section of the ministry but not yet adopted by the German government as a bill. So something may happen after the summer holidays.

The part of interest to British citizens who want to take German citizenship suggests that within the transitional period In addition, there is to be a regulation in favour of British nationals who apply for German citizenship during the transition period.

Solange das Vereinigte Königreich noch EU-Mitglied ist oder im Übergangszeitraum wie ein solches behandelt wird, muss für die Einbürgerung die britische Staatsangehörigkeit nicht aufgeben werden. Dabei kommt es aber nicht auf den Tag der Antragstellung, sondern auf den Tag der Entscheidung über die Einbürgerung an. Längere Bearbeitungszeiten könnten also zu Lasten britischer Einbürgerungsbewerber gehen. Um dies zu vermeiden, bestimmt der Referentenentwurf, dass bei Antragstellung vor Ablauf des Übergangszeitraums die britische Staatsangehörigkeit beibehalten werden kann.

 

As long as the United Kingdom is still a member of the EU or is treated as such during the transition period, British nationals applying for German citizenship will not have to give up their British citizenship. However, the pertinent date will be not the date on which the application was submitted, but the date on which a decision on citizenship is taken. In other words, the lengthy period needed to process applications could be to the detriment of British applicants. To avoid this, the ministry draft states that if an application is submitted before the end of the transition period, British citizenship can be retained.

I find this a bit confusing. I don’t know how long it currently takes for a person to be granted German citizenship (and as long as the UK is still in the EU, therefore to have concurrent German and British citizenship), but it looks as if the date of application is to be conclusive. If the bill becomes law in its current form!

The draft itself reads

Zu § 3

Die Einbürgerung in den deutschen Staatsverband setzt grundsätzlich die Aufgabe oder den Verlust der bisherigen Staatsangehörigkeit voraus, es sei denn, der Einbürgerungs- bewerber besitzt die Staatsangehörigkeit eines Mitgliedstaates der Europäischen Union oder der Schweiz (§ 12 Absatz 2 StAG). Solange das Vereinigte Königreich Mitglied der Europäischen Union ist oder in dem Übergangszeitraum als Mitgliedstaat der Europäi- schen Union gilt, werden britische Einbürgerungsbewerber daher mit fortbestehender britischer Staatsagehörigkeit eingebürgert. Dabei kommt es nach allgemeinen verfahrens- rechtlichen Grundsätzen auf den Tag der Einbürgerung an, nicht auf den Tag der Antragstellung. Um zu vermeiden, dass längere Bearbeitungszeiten zu Lasten der britischen Einbürgerungsbewerber gehen, wird in dieser ergänzenden Übergangsregelung be- stimmt, dass bei Antragstellung vor Ablauf des Übergangszeitraums die Beibehaltung der britischen Staatsangehörigkeit hingenommen wird, wenn zu diesem Zeitpunkt die weiteren Einbürgerungsvoraussetzungen bereits erfüllt waren.

In other news, there was a lot of excitement in the press last week when the UK government, on July 12, published a Brexit white paper translated poorly into various languages.

Brexit: British government’s botched German translation of Chequers white paper met with ridicule

That’s all well and good, and certainly the UK does not do much for foreign languages nowadays, but it isn’t the first time such documents have been translated poorly, in whatever country they originated. Apparently the ITI wrote a letter to Dominic Raab but the CIoL didn’t.

I even found a Wiki site Find translation errors in the UK government’s Brexit white paper.

That really says something about how social media are encouraging us to waste our time. What about the content of the white paper, people?

Internet resources for English law

At the very bottom of the homepage of this blog, there are links on English law, including Delia Venables‘ site.

Note also the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers, edited by Nick Holmes and Delia Venables. (I’m not sure I realized this had a website). Both Delia Venables and Nick Holmes can be followed on Twitter, and Delia yesterday tweeted links to two articles by her:
Free case law resources online
Free current awareness legal resources
For example, there is Current Awareness from the Inner Temple Library, and Halsbury’s Law Exchange:

Halsbury’s Law Exchange is a legal think tank, hosted by LexisNexis. It aims to communicate ideas on reform or legal direction to decision makers and the legal sector and promote debate through papers, reports, events and media pieces.

Current awareness is obviously a thing.

An article by David Allan Green (who blogs as Jack of Kent) in the Solicitors Journal on The revival of legal blogging, in which he points out how many barristers blog, and how few solicitors.

A new resource to me is Lawbore, a resource site for law students created and maintained by Emily Allbon, who is a lecturer at the City Law School, City University, London. She writes about it in Lawbore: legal education made fun. One item on Lawbore is a guide to reading a law report: Anatomy of a Law Report:

Paul Magrath talks us through Hunter v Canary Wharf Ltd [1997] AC 655 providing us with pointers throughout. We also have a copy of the case in full, with no audio.

There’s also a guide to blogging lawyers.

Votes for Life Bill petition for UK citizens living abroad

The Votes for Life Bill is to allow UK citizens living outside the UK to vote in parliamentary and EU elections, even if they have lived abroad for more than 15 years. The government currently intends that even if this bill is passed before the EU referendum, it should not apply to that referendum.

There is a petition for UK citizens to sign if they want to be able to vote in the referendum. Here is the link:
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/111271

The petition must have been started in October as it ends in April. Apparently there are about 2 million UK citizens living abroad, but some of them have been abroad for less than 15 years so they are entitled to vote here.

Some sources: Votes for Expat Brits blog
a BBC Radio 4 podcast: Carolyn Quinn explores the practical process by which Britain would exit the EU if UK voters opt to leave, and looks at the experience of Greenland, which quit the EEC in 1985.

Hydrophobic in Hackney

It’s ‘peeback’ time in Shoreditch and Dalston reports the use of paint that urinates back at you. Who first had the idea that Ultra-Ever Dry paint would work like this? Apparently Hamburg beat San Francisco to it.

San Francisco is not the first city to implement urine-repelling paint. The city of Hamburg, Germany has also used the paint and saw a decrease in people who use the streets as a bathroom.

“Based on Hamburg, we know this pilot program is going to work,” Nuru said. “It will reduce the number of people using the walls. I really think it will deter them.”

Lidl: Taste of the Alps

Since yesterday Lidl has had this range available: Lidl: Taste of the Alps.

alpenglut

Upminster is Aldi country rather than Lidl country, although Lidl has been going through a process of gentrification (it’s in the news for paying all its workers in the UK above the minimum wage) and I am urged to get some of their wine offers, but have not yet made it to South Ockendon.

I don’t suppose the web page will be available for ever. It is fuller than what you read in the Evening Standard or see in the video. But it is amazing how far the Alps extend. Who would have thought of the alpine pig in pork schnitzel, to say nothing of Bismarck herrings? Some are labelled Alpengut, which I keep reading as Alpenglut. Kabanos must be from the Polish Alps. Bavarian Brie is less surprising. But what of Meadow Fresh potato salad?

Ford Fiesta

It’s probably an illusion that Hornchurch was named after these horns, but it seems there was a bull’s head and horns on an earlier church.

horns1w

But the Resurrection Window appears to be post-medieval:

resurrection2w

Note computer, Spitfire and car:

resurrectionextw

Details of how to ring and ringers’ jugs at The Bells of Hornchurch.

I was impressed that they were ringing this lunchtime, but was told that it is all about Waterloo, and too jingoistic for my informant.

Getting through to HMRC on the phone

HMRC: Welcome to HM Revenue and Customs. To direct your call to the right place, I’d like to know why you’re calling today. So tell me, in a few words, what’s the reason for your call?
ME: A general VAT enquiry
HMRC: A VAT enquiry – is that right? Yes or no.
Me: Yes.
HMRC: And what is about VAT you’re calling about? You can say things like ‘I want to import a car’, or ‘Why have I received a VAT surcharge notice?’, or even ‘I’ve lost my password for online VAT.’ So go ahead – in a few words, what’s the reason for your call?
Me: I want to know how to charge VAT to the City of XYZ [it has no VAT number].
HMRC: About your payment options, is that right? Yes or no.
Me: No.
HMRC: Sorry, you can say things like ‘I want to import a car’, or ‘Why have I received a VAT surcharge notice?’, or even ‘I’ve lost my password for online VAT.’ So go ahead, tell me, what’s the reason for your call?
Me: How to charge VAT to a customer in Germany.
HMRC: A question about charging VAT outside of the UK – is that right? Yes or no.
Me: Yes.
HMRC: OK. And are you calling as the VAT-registered customer, an agent, an employee of a VAT-registered business, or something else?
Me: The VAT-registered customer. [their computer never understands this although they just offered it as an option]
HMRC: Sorry, which of the following are you calling as? Say: customer, agent, employee, or something else.
Me: Customer.
HMRC: Thank you. You can find lots of useful information about the VAT implications on both the importing and exporting of goods and services within the EU and beyond, as well as information on reclaiming VAT from other EU countries on our website, hmrc.gov.uk/vatinternational. Now, if you would still like to speak to one of our advisers, please hold on a moment and I’ll transfer you. By the way, for quality and security this call might be recorded. [music]

The computer woman’s voice is exaggeratedly helpful and friendly.

The real person I eventually get through to is very helpful, but I have been known to swear during the above dialogue and to be bad-tempered afterwards.

William Townley 1866-1950 – footballer

Another Englishman in Fürth (see William Wilson, earlier entry).

William Townley’s career in the glorious days of Fürth football are well documented:

The following year he was hired by the northern Bavarian club SpVgg Fürth. This club owned the most advanced facilities in Germany and was quickly becoming the largest club in the country with a membership approaching 3,000. Two months after his arrival Fürth lost against English side Newcastle United only 1–2. He guided the club to its first two Bavarian championships (Ostkreismeisterschaft) which heralded the onset of a golden era that would last into the 1930s which saw the club become one of the most dominant football sides in the country.

except for a gap in the First World War:

In December 1913 Townley got the call from Bayern Munich, but on a loan arrangement he re-joined to Fürth in April of the following year to guide the that club through the national championship rounds. In the final Fürth captured its first national title, defeating defending champions VfB Leipzig, holders of a then record three German titles. It is not clear, but he may then have returned to Munich, before the horrors of World War I overtook the continent, obscuring knowledge of Townley’s activities during this period.