British EU citizenship claim rejected on appeal by Dutch court

Published:  5 Feb at 6 PM
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A group of British citizens fighting the Dutch state in an attempt to remain EU citizens post-Brexit have had their case thrown out by Amsterdam’s appeal court.

The five British nationals who brought their case to a Dutch court which ruled in their favour are now searching for other ways to make their very valid point as the success of an appeal brought by the city of Amsterdam and the Dutch state has reversed the first favourable judgement.

The initial ruling had meant the case would be sent on the European Court of Justice for final judgement, with the plaintiffs hoping their success would help all British expats living in the EU as it would guarantee European citizenship in spite of Brexit. Lawyers from Amsterdam and the Dutch State argued the questions expected to be asked concerning clarification of the meaning of citizenship as enshrined in EU law were possible inadmissible as Brexit negotiations are still ongoing. The dispute itself, they argued, is on shaky ground as regards being admissible as it can be seen as hypothetical.

In fact, the appeal court agreed with the original court’s ruling that the position of UK citizens post-Brexit is a matter for EU law. However, its final decision rested on the fact that the claims themselves and the group who brought them are ‘insufficiently concrete’ to justify a referral to the ECJ. The appeals court judge also believes that, should the case have been allowed to move on to the ECJ, it would have been ruled inadmissible and resulted in a waste of time and legal resources. Representing the British in Netherlands group, Sarah Parks told reporters all UK expats in the Netherlands were saddened by the court’s decision, as a hard Brexit is certain to affect their lives and those of their families once they no longer have EU citizenship.
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