Rights question left to European Court of Justice
Landmark Brexit legal case brought by Britons living abroad
THE EUROPEAN Court of Justice will be asked to determine a test case involving citizens' rights after Britain leaves the EU in March next year.
The landmark legal case was brought by five British nationals in Holland, arguing their existing EU citizens' rights could not be lost following the 2016 Brexit referendum.
A court in Amsterdam has now referred the case to the Court of Justice in Luxembourg – and 1.2 million British expats living in Europe and three million European citizens resident in the UK will watch its progress.
Jane Golding, Chair of the British in Europe pressure group alliance, said: “We are delighted that the Dutch court has decided to refer this case to Luxembourg. The applicants have raised fundamental questions about the nature of their EU citizenship and the circumstances in which such essential rights can be taken away.
“The Court of Justice of the EU has played a key role in clarifying the scope of EU citizenship and it is appropriate that it should be asked to identify when those rights end.”
She called for a quick hearing and decision from the court. “It is also clear that the EU and the UK cannot finalise and sign off the final text on citizens’ rights in the withdrawal agreement until the court has given its ruling and we would ask them to respect the role of the court in this process.”