Do NOT Pass Go AND Do Move Back Into a House, Soon You Might Have to!
Updated: Jun 22
I'm not one generally to post politically motivated opinions, but whomever you did or didn't vote for in the UK elections (assuming you're from the UK) there is a worrying 'mandate' snuck in within the Conservatives manifesto that will affect all GB Van Lifers.
So if you live in your van, plan to or are a UK weekend warrior please share this blog far and wide so that we have a chance to stop this new law from being introduced.
It may even be too late but we have to fight it, the more that oppose it the greater chance of overturning it.
A consultation has been opened by the Home Secretary Priti Patel creating a new offence 'trespassing while setting up an unauthorized encampment' which George Monbiot has described as 'Legislative Cleansing' while on the surface this archaic potential new law is aimed on the surface potentially at Gypsy Travellers, it not only impacts on their way of life but also to the casual wild camper right on through to full time Van lifers.
In simple terms lets say you found a beautiful wild park up in Wales, there's 2 or 3 other Vans parked there, now you'd probably stay several nights with no attention, without any problems, the police may even drive passed and not even knock on your door. Under the new legislation any 2 or more vehicles parked up with persons in them or asleep will be classed as an encampment. It even gives the Police MUCH wider and new powers to search vehicles without any cause/reason to do so AND even to confiscate vehicles again without any due process or reason to.
Priti Patel goes on to say:
'Our proposals aim to ensure that unauthorised encampments can be challenged and removed as soon as possible'.
Its further highlighted within the conservatives manifesto which states 'We will tackle unauthorised traveller camps, we will give the police new powers to arrest, seize property and vehicles of trespassers who set up unauthorised encampments in order to protect our communities. We will make intentional trespass a criminal offence.
Don't be fooled if you're living or travelling in your van into thinking this doesn't apply to you, lets say you pull up in a wild spot in the woods and there is one other van there you are now for all intents and purposes guilty of trespass with intent, and THIS IS classed under this new law as an encampment. SCARY!
The proposed changes in law in summary:
Make trespass a crime – resulting in prison, a fine or your vehicle being taken from you.
Make it a crime for you to stop alongside or on the road – they will be able to move you along.
Make it so police can act when there’s two vehicles, instead of six. A car, a trailer and a van would count as three vehicles.
Make it so police can force you to go to a transit site in another county.
Make it so you’re banned from an area for one year instead of three months.
For UK Van Lifers the further sting is, and I'm not going all political again or complaining about what's allegedly a democratic result, but with impending Brexit back on the cards for January 31st and then until such a time as deals on EU travel are renegotiated, undoubtedly the Schengen Agreement will kick in on Jan 31st. This means we as full-time Van lifers can then only venture into Europe for any 90 days out of any 180, meaning we are effectively forced either further afield to non Schengen countries such as Morocco. OR that we have to stay for 6 months in the UK where wild camping will under this new proposal be illegal if taken to the letter. Sad times ahead!
Ive raised this a few times on Facebook and I've even been told by some well, you can always get a house! The point is we (and you) should be free to choose and make our lifestyle choice, that's after all democracy surely?
Any which we we look at this for Travellers and Alt lifestyles as a whole its a BIG erosion of our freedoms and could and most likely will impact many travelling based lifestyles.
You can fight these proposal by completing this form below on the Gov website:
AND by sharing this blog and or its links far and wide on Van life Groups, Alt living Groups, Traveller groups etc.
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