Expat lawyer crowdfunding appeal reaches its target in three days

Published:  6 Mar at 6 PM
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The lawyer working with British expats in their court battle to preserve their rights has raised over 67,000 euros via a crowdfunding campaign.

London-based lawyer Jolyon Maugham launched his crowdfunding campaign last Thursday, and was amazed when it reached its target of 60,000 euros by Sunday. The fund now stands at 67,000 euros and will be used to help the expat group advance their case against Dutch authorities attempting to block its progress to the European Court of Justice for final judgement.

Two expat campaign groups and five British expats were the plaintiffs in a court battle with the Dutch authorities in January over their rights to remain EU citizens after Brexit. The argument used was that European citizenship gives independent rights over and above those of any specific country including the UK, thus allowing their legal rights as EU citizens to continue after the UK’s withdrawal. Due to the far-reaching implications of the case and any judgement’s affect on millions, the Dutch judge referred it to the European Court of Justice.

Unfortunately, the Dutch government decided to appeal the decision on the basis that, as the Brexit negotiations are still taking place, the question posed by the plaintiffs may well be declared inadmissible due to its hypothetical character. The appeal will be held on 19 April, with a favourable decision still putting back a hearing at the ECJ by months, thus bringing it closer to the UK exit date of 29 March 2019.

Supporters of the groups involved and their lawyer responded promptly to the call for extra funds to fight the appeal, with Maugham telling AFP he was ‘very, very happy' about the appeal’s result. The Dutch government’s move could well be seen as a delaying tactic as, should the ECJ rule in favour of the plaintiffs, the far–reaching consequences would include freedom of movement and the right to remain for the millions of expats at present living in the UK and EU member states.
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