Susie brings with her expertise from twenty years of working on EU law and fundamental rights. Her experience includes work for civil society organisations like Amnesty International and JUSTICE as well as for EU institutions including the European Commission and consultancy for the European Parliament and other international organisations. The range of her experience gives her a good insight into legal advocacy strategies and potential partners in both the UK and the EU and we look forward to working with her to develop our work in two key areas:
EU Citizenship and the rights of UK citizens –
- EU Citizenship – many British nationals are opting for dual citizenship in other Member States to retain their EU citizenship but this is not an option available to many – we will also look at what EU citizenship means and the implications for those who don’t have access to dual citizenship.
- Freedom of Movement – this is not only an issue for British expats but will affect many UK citizens who are currently resident in the UK or third countries. The right to reside has been the main focus of campaign groups but the right to freedom of movement is crucial to many British citizens such as those who work in the UK and run businesses/provide services in or to EU27 countries; those who live or work across borders; those who work in international institutions; those who had planned a future in another country; and those whose work or study is dependent on EU funding.
Article 50 and the UK’s constitutional requirements –
- UK Constitution – The UK doesn’t have a written constitution but sovereignty of the UK Parliament is a fundamental plank of UK constitutional law. Article 50 refers to the constitutional requirements of a country notifying withdrawal – we are stressing the need for the UK’s Parliament to make a “meaningful decision” once the exit terms are known. This decision would be based purely on what is in the best interest of the UK, including the option of remaining in the EU if the exit terms would put the UK in a worse position than continuing membership of the EU.
- Article 50 – The European Parliament is key to the democratic legitimacy of Article 50 and must consent to the withdrawal agreement concluded by the Council. MEPs represent EU citizens, including UK citizens and we will seek to engage with the European Parliament as the guarantor of individual rights in the process.
Susie will help us develop our advocacy work to mesh with the other work identified in the “Legal Milestones” drawn up by John Halford of Bindmans LLP. She will also help us to establish co-operative arrangements with other groups, identify and activate other sources of funding and assist with producing advocacy material to further our objectives.