French anti-Brexit lawyer founds new pan-European movement

Published:  23 Oct at 6 PM
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French lawyer Julien Fouchet has launched another pro-Europe group.

French barrister Julien Fouchet has founded a pan-European movement aimed at encouraging EU citizens as well as expatriate Britons to support the ending of the Brexit threat to European unity. His Pan European Citizens Solidarity movement is calling on all EU citizens to protect all British expats who support remaining in the union. Europe, he says, is a peaceful, democratic force in today’s troubled world, and must be protected.

Fouchet told reporters the launch was held shortly before a conference on reform of the European Union held at London’s Queen Mary University. He’s seeking to enlist support from EU Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstad, who is reputedly in favour of a pan-EU initiative. According to Fouchet, the negotiator’s official support will help bring together all the remaining 27 EU states’ parliamentarians and heads of government in an attempt to force a second British referendum.

Fouchet pointed out that the new movement’s launch wasn’t just attended by UK citizens, with French, Dutch and German attendees all supporting the move as the one way to reconcile Europe in favour of the UK’s continuing membership of the union. At the same time, he explained his own legal efforts on behalf of the campaign to regard the original Brexit referendum as illegal due to the exclusion of many British expats as a result of the 15 year disenfranchisement rule. On this issue, Fouchet is still awaiting a decision from the EU General Court.

In addition to launching his new movement, Fouchet is also mounting a new Brexit challenge based on a single British expat living in France who has now been excluded from registering to vote in 2019’s EU MEP elections. The reason for the refusal was quoted as ‘uncertainty’ as to whether the applicant could be considered as an EU citizen during the transition period. The barrister believes the transition period should extend UK citizens’ rights up until it ends, thus allowing votes for MEPs, and is hoping European judges will agree. Perhaps his strongest argument is that the Brexit referendum was legally regarded as ‘advisory’, with the UK’s parliament not using its sovereign authority to explicitly vote to leave.
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