Why protecting EU citizenship rights needs more than one approach.

I have been asked whether the work we are doing isn’t duplicating the “Amsterdam” challenge and the questions being asked of the CJEU.

In fact the two issues are separate and reasonably distinct and both, for their own reasons, deserve to be supported and followed through.

The Amsterdam challenge is based in what has been called the “stone-by-stone” approach that the CJEU follows when making decisions and establishing the jurisprudence of EU law.

In this case the stones are a series of CJEU rulings relating to the right of individuals to their EU citizenship rights under circumstances where individual member states had sought to remove or ignore those rights.

The Amsterdam challenge is seeking to add another “stone” to the process and asking the CJEU to declare that EU citizenship rights are personal and individual and as such cannot be removed because your country of nationality decides to leave the EU. The CJEU is also being asked what, if any, criteria apply to the retention of EU citizenship rights under such circumstances.

The work we are doing is focused on the arbitrary and possibly discriminatory framework being used by the EU and the UK to protect what they define as EU citizenship rights for the purposes of the exit negotiations.

Broadly speaking the EU and the UK have decided that EU citizenship rights have only been exercised, and therefore need protecting, in the situation where an EU citizen is currently resident in an EU country other than his/her country of nationality.

This is plainly a nonsense as there are many ways of making significant personal, family and financial decisions based on EU citizenship rights which do not involve being resident in another EU member state at the time of making the decision or perhaps at all.

Equally nonsensically the individual may well have been resident in another EU state at some time in the past, the fact that they are currently not resident in that state, or any other of the states, does not in some way “un-exercise” those rights.

We are looking at the various courses of action open to individuals and groups of individuals in a wider context than just EU law and in a wider context than just the British nationals currently living in EU27 countries.

We also want to be able to present this researched and documented legal advice to MPs, MEPs and members of the UK devolved assemblies. Ultimately it is these representatives of ours who need to be fully informed of what is happening so that they can make the appropriate decisions.

Both sets of work are important, perhaps even crucial, for the reasonable and equitable treatment of all EU citizens, including British nationals at home or in EU27 countries, at a time when governments and administrations are seemingly focused on simplistic and expedient solutions.

Contrary to what the Government would like us to believe, we are faced with a complex, multi-facetted problem.

A problem which is open to multiple solutions and it will require a number of the best of those solutions in order to find the answer that is the best interest of Britain and its people.


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Published by Grahame Pigney on behalf of The People’s Challenge Ltd.



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