Monday 10 August 2020

Brexit and dual nationality centre stage as campaigners meet Dutch MPs

Members of the campaign groups Brexpats Hear our Voice and The 3 Million group are meeting Dutch MPs on Thursday afternoon to discuss the impact of Brexit on British citizens in the Netherlands and Dutch nationals in the UK.

The concerns of British nationals in the Netherlands range from cross-border travel, pension rights and dual nationality, Sarah Parkes, of Brexpats Hear our Voice told

Dutch nationals in the UK will lose their Dutch nationality if they become British while British citizens in the Netherlands can only retain their British passports if married to a Dutch national.

The new Dutch government is committed to modernising the laws on dual nationality and many had hoped this would provide a way out for British nationals who face losing their European rights. Hundreds of British nationals in the Netherlands have already gone Dutch since the Brexit vote.

However, despite hopes for a change in the rules, a spokesman for the justice ministry told on Tuesday that ‘no announcements’ can be made about the contents, shape and time-line for changing dual nationality legislation.

The round table talks with cross party MPs are due to start at 14.00 when employers and unions will give their views on the Brexit preparations so far and the likely impact on the Dutch economy. The debate involving British citizens is set to begin at 16.20 and can be followed live on broadcaster NOS’s parliamentary channel. 


Meanwhile, several British citizens in the Netherlands who are fighting to keep European citizenship were back in court in Amsterdam on Thursday after the Dutch state launched an appeal against a lower court ruling.

The five British nationals had asked the Amsterdam court to refer the issue to the European court in Luxembourg so it can clarify what EU law says about citizenship.

In his ruling on February 7, the presiding judge Floris Bakels agreed to ask the European court preliminary questions about what the consequences of a Brexit would be for EU citizenship and the rights which EU citizenship brings.

However, lawyers for the Dutch state argue there is a possibility that the questions could be declared inadmissible, since the Brexit negotiations are still ongoing and launched an appeal. In addition, they say they have ‘serious doubts over the admissibility of the planned… questions’ because the dispute is hypothetical.

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