Jane Golding, OBE – chair from 2017 and co-chair since 2018
Jane Golding is an EU lawyer and has lived and/or worked in five different countries. She is a convinced European and decided at 14 that she wanted to study law in London and Paris because she cared about justice and wanted to ‘work in Europe’ (not knowing what that really meant at the time). After the Brexit referendum, having campaigned since 2010 for voting rights for British citizens abroad, she decided that the only way to safeguard our rights was if British citizens in the EU had a voice in the political process.
Along with Fiona, she co-chairs British in Europe, coordinating BiE and developing strategy, as well as leading BiE’s advocacy at EU and UK level with Fiona and Jeremy. Jeremy and she have also prepared all the key legal input and papers for the coalition since BiE’s Alternative White Paper in 2017. She has presented at the European Parliament and UK Parliament, including giving evidence to select committees, as well as at the Bundestag, the Assemblée Nationale, and regional bodies in Germany. She is also chair of British in Germany.
Jane lives in Berlin, with her husband and dual citizen kids, who have always been supportive, despite being fed up with hearing about Brexit. Unlike Fiona, she is a keen (urban) gardener who grows vegetables on her balcony.
Fiona Godfrey, OBE – steering team member since 2017 and co-chair since 2018
Fiona grew up in Yorkshire. After studying and working in the UK for 12 years, She moved to Luxembourg in 1995 and, with the exception of three years in Germany when she started her family, she has lived there ever since.
As a professional campaigner and advocate for over 20 years, almost exclusively for the underdog, volunteering with British in Europe was a natural step after the 2016 Brexit referendum. Fiona’s role has been to co-design BiE’s advocacy strategy and, along with Co-Chair Jane Golding, to represent BiE and advocate for our citizens’ rights at meetings in Brussels with the Article 50 Task Force, MEPs and member state representatives as well as in meetings and hearings with ministers, MPs and civil servants in London.
As a Luxembourg-based cross-border services supplier, Fiona’s focus has been on general citizens’ rights, the rights of the self-employed and frontier workers. And, as someone whose German partner found himself on the wrong end of a Home Office tribunal case in the late 1980s, family reunification rights in the UK post-Brexit. Armed with her trusty iPhone, she also became the designated photographer on the advocacy trips to London and Brussels after she and Jane failed to take enough photos on early outings to the utter despair of our social media and newsletter gurus, Kathryn and Michael.
When she is not moaning about Brexit or in lockdown, Fiona is a keen hiker, reasonable baker and seriously rubbish gardener.
Jeremy Morgan, QC – Vice chair
A QC who retired to Umbria, Jeremy is a co-founder of British in Italy. He brings a lifetime’s experience as a professional advocate to the presentation of the case for citizens’ rights. Quite apart from his campaigning in Italy, he has written, with Jane Golding, most of BiE’s submissions to the UK and EU institutions as well as making the case orally before committees of the UK and even the Danish Parliament. He has been a regular member of our team lobbying – usually with the3million – ministers, negotiators and other key players in Brussels and the UK.
Zoe is a Chartered Linguist for German and a trained technical writer. Thanks to her profession, she has an eye for detail that helps greatly when editing and proofreading BiE documents. She has a strong sense of justice and fairness, and this motivates her in her work with BiE, since she is determined to play her part in helping to alleviate the injustices brought about to mobile citizens as a result of Brexit.
As well as helping with the compilation of various types of documentation relating to the work of British in Europe (newsletters, fundraising material, information campaigns etc.), Zoe has attended meetings with Embassy staff and government representatives in her host country. Her personal interest is in the post-Brexit rights of self-employed professionals.
Zoe has spent her entire adult life outside of the UK, having lived in Germany and Spain. She now lives in Rome with her Italian husband and small son. In her pre-Brexit/pre-baby life, she was a keen long-distance runner and hopes to be able to train properly again in the future.
Roger Boaden, MBE
Roger spent most of his working life in politics: 30 years with Conservative Party, going from a paid canvasser to working closely with Edward Heath and Margaret Thatcher. This was followed by six years working with major retailers to reform the antiquated laws on Sunday trading in England and Wales. He was a co-founder of ECREU (Expat Citizen Rights) in the EU, with Dave Spokes and the late Brian Cave. He had joined Brian in the campaign to stop the UK removing the winter fuel payments from British pensioners in the EU, which morphed into work on citizens’ rights after the referendum result was known. Since then he has contributed to the work of British in Europe, including giving written and oral evidence to select committees in both Houses of Parliament.
Christopher Chantry, OBE – treasurer
Christopher comes from an international business background and has lived and worked in France since 1973. A graduate in French and German, he has been involved in the running of several British and Franco-British associations in France, including several years as chair of the British Community Committee of France (BCC). Operating under the brand name British in France, the BCC defends the interests of UK nationals living in France, especially when they come under threat, as they did with the referendum result in June 2016. Like British in Europe, the BCC has long campaigned for votes for life for all UK nationals wherever in the world they live, and against the loss of our rights caused by Brexit.
British in Europe is registered as a not-for-profit association in Paris, where Christopher lives, so he has the job of ensuring that we comply with French laws and regulations, as well as counting the beans.
Two redundancies, a recession and three children under five was the backdrop to Kathryn’s European adventure, which began nearly twenty years ago. Moving from the UK to Geneva and then to France to work across the border as a frontalier all in under 6 months gave her family a crash course in the benefits of freedom of movement.
After a career in international marketing and logistics for consumer giants, for over ten years Kathryn has published the leading English-language magazine in south west France (Living Magazine), which provides an unparalleled insight and reach into the large community of British residents. An experienced social media community manager, Kathryn is the voice of BiE on Facebook and Twitter, and takes care of all things relating to marketing for BiE, including the website. She represents British residents at local and national levels in France and has a special interest in the impact of the WA on families (particularly young adults) and small businesses.
Kalba is a psychotherapist and group facilitator with a background in advice work, welfare rights, citizen advocacy and community building. She describes herself as a ‘grassroots warrior’, focusing on representing those at the coal face, ensuring that their voices are heard and that they don’t lose out through lack of knowledge or understanding of their rights and responsibilities. Her main role within the BiE team is to work with and alongside our grassroots members, primarily through information provision but also by monitoring and identifying citizens’ rights issues and concerns affecting the wider community of Britons living across the EU27.
She’s the pen behind many of the explainers you may have read on the Withdrawal Agreement, health and social security issues and (back in the day) the ramifications of a no-deal Brexit, is the author of a comprehensive citizens’ rights website for Britons in France and has carried out several surveys amongst members in France and across the EU27. She has also given written and oral evidence to various select and other committees at Westminster as well as to the Assemblée Nationale in Paris. She has a special interest in residence rights for those in low income/precarious work situations and those who are economically inactive.
Kalba lives in the middle of nowhere in the French Pyrenees, where in her spare time she walks, watches birds, bangs on about dog welfare and tries to be a bit of an eco-warrior.
Nigel Aston (joined Jan 2021)
Nigel has lived in Madrid for 25 years and is President of EuroCitizens, a BiE affiliate that lobbies both the UK and Spanish governments on behalf of UK citizens living in Spain. He has extensive experience of international business as chief of staff and subsequently global head of competitive intelligence at Amadeus IT Group, representing Amadeus at the World Economic Forum. Before that he was a career civil servant, dealing with a number of international organisations, including the EU institutions. He currently has business interests in IT and is an expert on biometric screening and blockchain.
Nigel has a strong interest in history and politics (a graduate of that discipline) and is a convinced European, with an Irish wife and two dual national kids. He is passionate about football; however, his UK and Spanish supported teams are, perhaps the less fashionable of their respective cities!
Michael Harris (resigned Jan 2021)
Michael is an ex-teacher, educational author and aspiring novelist. For fifteen years he has run a tiny environmental group and irritated local oligarchs by kicking up a fuss about matters such as illegal felling, speculative building and the invasion of public footpaths. He loves organising tree plantations, workshops on the joy of composting and round tables on climate collapse and rubbish. In short, he can’t shut up.
For Michael, the BiE Steering Team is an extraordinary group of talented people, from different walks of life, which has punched above its weight on citizens’ rights. His role is to produce the newsletter, take the minutes and occasionally represent the coalition in mass lobbies at Westminster or in front of the Brexit Select Committee. His main work has been in Spain, where he founded EuroCitizens, a small group which engages with the Spanish government about the rights of Britons living in Spain.
Debbie Williams (resigned April 2021)
Debbie is an aviation specialist, with a background in Air Traffic Control. She started out in the Royal Air Force, so brings discipline to the team (not really!) and a diverse selection of skills to the volunteer campaigning world. She has learnt just as many new skills since 2016 as she never campaigned previously. She has endeavored, since the referendum, to make sure that the voices of British citizens living in the EU and EU citizens living in the UK are heard, and is still working towards this end.
Debbie enjoys working in a talented and dynamic team like that at BiE. She assists with administrative tasks and responds to campaign updates and development strategies by offering creative solutions. She engages with and promotes the organisation’s goals and objectives, increasing awareness of ongoing projects and collecting feedback from stakeholders and members, working constructively within the team to meet targets and deadlines. Debbie is from Wales and is a very mobile citizen who currently lives in Spain (previously in Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany). She has a busy life but makes plenty of time for fun.