Brit expats preparing legal action to keep EU citizenship post-Brexit

Published:  22 Jan at 6 PM
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UK citizens and expats are planning legal action aimed at retaining their EU citizenship post-Brexit.

Based on the Treaty of Lisbon’s Article 20, EU citizenship is seen as separate and additional to citizenship of its member states. At the present time, there are no written provisions for removing it and its associated rights from residents in any EU member state, regardless of whether their country of residence leaves the EU. Basically, this states that the UK’s leaving the EU should have no legal effect on the European citizenship of British expats living either in EU member states or in any other world country.

Professor of Physics at Oxford University Joshua Silver, along with a number of others, is preparing to bring an EU Court of Justice case questioning Boris Johnson’s right to legally remove the professor’s EU citizenship on 31st January. According to media reports, the European Commission has taken note of the legal proceedings. The professor is also requesting clarification on whether he will be able to bring a class action suit representing some 79,000 British signees on his recently uploaded website.

A further point raised by Prof Silver is that the July 2018 Electoral Commission report concluded electoral fraud had taken place during the 2016 referendum, causing many to believe the vote itself should be declared invalid. According to one Cambridge University expert on European law, the question of the relationship between UK nationality and EU citizenship is a big issue, with no-one actually having an answer to date.

Brexit spokesman for the Welsh Plaid Cymru party Jonathan Edwards has commented that removing a person’s citizenship is one of the most severe political actions any government can take, and Prof Silver considers all British citizens living in Europe could well have a legal case backed up by current human rights law. One famous international human rights legal expert has also stated such a case could well be brought under those terms.
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