Saturday 19 October 2019

Brexit appeal: could you help fight for British citizens’ European citizenship rights?

Are you a British citizen who has been living in the Netherlands for more than five years who is in doubt whether he/ she needs to switch his/her EU permanent residency permit into a non-EU permanent residency permit after Brexit.

Perhaps you are a British citizen who has lived in various European countries and is currently living in the Netherlands. You have lived in no EU country for more than five years and therefore have no permanent residency rights in any of these countries.

Or maybe you are a British citizen who lives in the Netherlands and has a child studying in the UK. The child wants to join his or her family in the Netherlands after graduating post-Brexit (by then aged 21+), but has no permanent residency rights.

It could also be that you are British citizen who has been living in the Netherlands and turned down for a job or did not get his or her contract renewed, because the employer fears there will be complications after Brexit?

If you fit any of these scenarios, you may be able to help a new legal attempt to keep your European citizenship.


Law firm bureau Brandeis represented Brits in the Netherlands in summary proceedings against the Dutch State about the preservation of their EU citizenship and related rights after a Brexit. The aim was to have the case referred to the European Court of Justice to ask preliminary questions about this issue.

Although they convinced the summary judge in the first hearing to refer questions to the CJEU, the Court of Appeal unfortunately overturned that decision. In short, the Court of Appeal decided that the claims were not sufficiently precisely targeted to resolve an actual and concrete issue arising from Brexit.

However, like the judge in summary proceedings, the Court of Appeal did confirm that the post-Brexit legal status of British citizens who reside in another EU member state and thus exercised their rights and freedoms under Article 20 TFEU, is a question of EU law.

The Court of Appeal also agreed with the summary judge that it is reasonable to doubt an interpretation of Article 20 TFEU which implies that the loss of EU citizenship will automatically lead to the loss of rights and freedoms derived from that right, at least as far as the right to free movement and residence are concerned.

Now they are examining possible ways to go forward in their litigation. They are looking into the possibility to initiate new summary proceedings, in which they can refine their claims and make them more concrete.


If you are or know of anyone in these or similar situations to those outlined above and would like to help, please contact bureau Brandeis at the following email address in complete confidence:


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