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You’ve lost your EU rights, top court tells ex-pat Brits
ex-pat Brits

You’ve lost your EU rights, top court tells ex-pat Brits

09.06.2022
Luxembourg-based Court of Justice says UK citizens lost EU citizenship rights with Brexit
In this file photo taken on 30 December, 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures after signing the trade agreement between the UK and the EU.
In this file photo taken on 30 December, 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures after signing the trade agreement between the UK and the EU.
Photo credit: AFP

The European Union’s top court delivered a stark message to expat Britons hoping to cling on to the trappings of EU citizenship after Brexit: You’ve lost your rights.

Britain’s departure from the bloc following the 2016 referendum means its nationals residing in one of the remaining 27 member states “no longer enjoy the status of citizen of the Union,” the EU Court of Justice ruled. That means they lost rights such as being able to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections. 

“This is an automatic consequence of the sole sovereign decision taken by the United Kingdom to withdraw from the European Union,” the Luxembourg-based court said.

Thursday’s ruling stemmed from a case involving a former British civil servant who’s lived in France since 1984. The woman, who had taken an oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II of England, argued that she was disenfranchised in both her home country, which prevented people who’d lived abroad for more than 15 years from taking part in elections, and in France. 

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.