Legal precedent may offer hope for UK expats residency rights

Published:  29 Jul at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
An Open University law lecturer has highlighted a legal case concerning citizenship rights which may open the door for UK expats to stay in Europe after Britain leaves the EU.

Law lecturer Ann Wesemann believes the case, concerning an Austrian citizen who attempted to take German nationality, may seem unrelated but could well be relevant to citizenship cases caused by the UK’s decision to quit the EU. For example, she cites a British citizen living in France who, due to this test case, would be able to retain his EU citizenship even after Brexit takes effect.

Wesemann’s qualifications include a German law degree and an LLM in EU law, and her PhD research concentrated on EU citizenship and the manner in which it is upheld by the EUCcourt of Justice as a constitutional right. Her studies indicate the test case may well become a basis for UK expats’ right to remain battles.

The test case itself was originally brought on behalf of Austrian citizen Janco Rottman, who had automatically lost his Austrian nationality after he was awarded German citizenship. Rottman had denied any criminal convictions on his application for citizenship, but was later found to have lied and his new citizenship was revoked, leaving him stateless with no citizenship. The court stated unequivocally that, whilst it stripped him of his EU nationality, it did so because of his criminal record, not because of his statelessness.

British expats could find themselves in a unique situation as regards being stripped of their EU citizenship and its attached rights when Brexit is complete. Basically, the test case may prove that British nationals living anywhere in the EU cannot be stripped of their EU citizenships simply because the UK has decided to leave the European Union.

Although it's a long shot, Rottman’s case highlights the fact that the EU court requires member states to make a just case for infringing EU citizenship rights. Importantly, the consequences of removing those rights must be taken into consideration. Logically, British retirees, business owners, long-term expats and expat families should feel less under threat as the EU court is unlikely to allow EU citizenship rights to be taken away.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive