Harry Shindler at the General Court of the EU

French Avocat Julien FOUCHET has set out in an article in La Connexion his thoughts on the case he has taken to the CJEU on behalf of Harry Shindler and 12 others.

According to La Connexion, “Despite Mr FOUCHET having lodged the case a year ago, today’s hearing still focused on preliminaries – having to prove to the judges that the case is worthy of a full hearing of all the arguments because it is founded on real harm done to his clients as a result of the referendum in which they could not take part.”

Getting past this permissions stage is crucial in being able to present the substantive arguments, see our previous blog post.

Avocat FOUCHET says that the judges in this permissions hearing may take until September or October of this year to return a decision on whether the case can proceed.

If that is the case then we have to recognise that by September/October political decisions will be done and dusted.

La Connexion reported Avocat FOUCHET as saying “The president of the court [lead judge] said they will consider three possibilities, that the case is admissible, it is not admissible, or that there will be another hearing that will consider the admissibility and the detailed arguments at the same time.”

There is no guaranteed win/win in any case. The arguments in this case are multi-faceted as we outlined in our blog piece based around the commentary of Aurélien ANTOINE, a Professor of Law at the Jean Monnet University, St Etienne.

First of all the case has to be accepted by the court and we have to wait another 2 or 3 months to find out whether that will happen. The main questions seem to be whether Harry Shindler and his 12 co-claimants are entitled to take the issue to the CJEU at this stage, at least in part because the EU Commission contends that there has not yet been a decision on whether any rights will be lost.

If the case is accepted the court then has to listen to and adjudicate on the substantive arguments.

What won’t happen is Harry Shindler or any of us UK expatriates being forced to return to the UK by EU27 countries, that is Project Fear at its very worst.

What may happen is that we lose fundamental citizenship rights, but that won’t just happen to UK expatriates, it will happen to millions of UK citizens, most of whom live in the UK.

There is a fight to be had, but it is not just about the rights of UK expatriates, it is about the rights of UK citizens.

There is a lot of material in the Millions in the Margins work we have commissioned. Alongside the “Three Knights Opinion” and the Gold Card booklet which we commissioned and published last year, it will be an essential part of understanding what is at risk for ordinary people – the rights and opportunities that are being sacrificed on an altar of political expediency and dogma.

This collective body of work also demonstrates conclusively why it must be the UK’s Parliament that has the final say on whether leaving or remaining in the EU is what is best for the UK and its people.


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

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