A Chairman's Welcome | September 2017

A Chairman's Welcome | September 2017

September 8, 2017

Dear Members and Friends of the British Business Club Düsseldorf


I would like to extend a warm welcome to the British Business Club Düsseldorf (BBCD) website to all our members, friends and visitors. We will be gradually increasing the content on our website over the next few months, so do come back and get updated from time to time.


The Culture & Cocktails event on 5 September was a great success and members are already requesting that we do it again. In the meantime, if you want to see their forthcoming performance of the Magic Flute or any other events on their calendar, please go to their website: www.dlopera.com


Our annual cricket match against Christ Church was entertaining, although we lost again, as reported by our club caption, Ian Mackenzie.


May I also remind you about the British Flair event from 8-10 September, where the club will again have a stand, which we are sharing with the British Women's Club Düsseldorf and the Royal British Legion.


Tam Pearce will be managing the stand for us, as well as the welly wanging, with a team of helpers, for which many thanks from us all. Unfortunately the traditional Last Night of the Proms concert will not be held this year, as previously reported, due to the withdrawal of the major sponsor.


Club members are cordially invited to a Portuguese wine & food evening entitled Reynolds: A British Family in Portugal and Mouchão, hosted by Carlos Quintas at his Portuguese wine cellar in the Altstadt at 19.00 on Friday 6 October, for which places are limited. Carlos has a wealth of knowledge about Portuguese wines and the well-known wine expert and writer, Jancis Robertson, has often relied on his expertise when exploring this subject.



The repercussions and uncertainties of Brexit meeting report continue to preoccupy many of our members. In co-operation with a new lobby group, British in Germany, the British Consul-General, Rafe Courage, hosted an open meeting for British citizens in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate to discuss citizens’ rights following Brexit that was held on 30 August at the Hotel Intercontinental in Düsseldorf. The meeting was well attended and there was an update on the current status of the negotiations with regards to citizens’ rights. Representatives from the Embassy, the British Consulate General and British In Germany gave presentations and answered questions.


Daniel Tetlow, a journalist and the co-founder of British In Germany, said he would be very pleased to hear from all Brits living in North Rhine Westphalia. His group is affiliated to a wider coalition, “British In Europe”, and actively campaigns to protect the rights of British citizens in Germany and other EU countries and the rights of EU citizens in the UK during the Brexit negotiations:






The British Embassy provided the following links to the joint EU-UK technical note on citizens’ rights, an updated version of which has just been published following the August round of negotiations:



If you would like to receive e-mail alerts when new information on citizens' rights is available you can register for updates at:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/advice-for-british-nationals-travelling-and-living-in-europe .


The British Embassy will also publish information specially for British citizens in Germany, including details of future meetings, on their facebook page, as I have also previously reported.


One of the meeting attendees asked towards the end whether the audience would be willing to signal by show of hands whether it thought that Brexit was "a huge mistake by UK government". The result was an overwhelming yes, perhaps not surprisingly. Many British expats complained during the meeting that they were not allowed to vote in the Brexit referendum, although they were still British nationals and paying UK taxes.


A British Embassy spokesman, when questioned about a possible discontinuation of the rules allowing dual nationality, told the audience that, if that were to happen, the cut-off date would most likely be the date that the UK leaves the EU.


It was also announced that further such meetings would also be held in Cologne, Paderborn and Bielefeld.


Any Brits or others thinking about acquiring German nationality will currently have to wait until March 2018 to have their first appointment with the relevant office of Stadt Düsseldorf, if they apply on-line, as demand for the services is so high (as I have just found out!).



Best regards from Benrath


Brian R Hicks


Honorary Chairman

British Business Club Düsseldorf

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