Brit expats landmark Brexit appeal rejected by Amsterdam court

Published:  20 Jun at 6 PM
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An Amsterdam court has thrown out a landmark case brought by British expats which demanded their post-Brexit rights as European citizens should be recognised by the EU.

The case was the first of a number awaiting hearings and was brought by five British expats in the Netherlands and two anti-Brexit campaign groups. It was ruled against in its first hearing last January and was sent on appeal to the Amsterdam court. The court rejected the appeal and found in favour of the Dutch government, quoting expats’ claims were ‘too vague’ to put to the European Court of Justice as requested by the plaintiffs.

The argument put before the court was that the expatriates had lived in the EU for an extended period of time, thus acquiring independent rights as EU citizens over and above citizenship of any EU member state including the UK. Lawyer on behalf of the Dutch government Erik Hordijjk argued the case was groundless and requested an ‘inadmissable’ ruling.

In rejecting the expats’ plea, the Amsterdam appeals court agreed with the lower court that the situation of UK citizens living in the Netherlands post-Brexit was subject to EU laws, stating the issues put forward were not strong enough to warrant referral to the European court. According to lawyer for the group Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm, two options remain, either to start a new, more detailed procedure or to request a hearing at the Dutch Supreme Court.

Some 46,000 Britons are living in the Netherlands at this time, most of whom are working, with Dutch lawmakers already stating there’s no reason to think there’s a serious risk of them being thrown out of the country. However, the group is still insisting Brit expats’ legal rights as EU citizens should be legally protected, with especial reference to freedom of movement.
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