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« REGAIN & MAINTAIN YOUR EU CITIZENSHIP/ RECUPERER ET CONSERVER VOTRE CITOYENNETÉ EUROPÉENNE (French version available on request)
The restoration and maintenance of European citizenship and derived rights of British citizens (initially of those legally living in an EU country) following the UK’s decision to leave the EU – #Brexit.
UNDER WHAT LEGAL RIGHT?
i) European citizenship was "instituted" in 1993 and was then linked to the nationality of a Member State
ii) this "institution" made European citizenship part of the legal heritage of all Europeans of the time, both then and for those born since. If the referendum on Brexit removes European citizenship from the legal heritage of Britons who remain in the United Kingdom, because citizenship stems from solidarity between citizens and the institution (i.e. Great Britain) of which they are citizens (and the British have, by their choice, broken this solidarity), the same is not true of the British who remained on the territory of the Union, who thus expressed their desire to see this solidarity maintained.
iii) following precedents within the ECJ and the International Court of Justice, the legal heritage to European citizenship must be likened to a real nationality, in its own right, conferring all the rights and duties required of citizens. This then implies that the link of each European with the European Union is as strong as their link with the Member State of which they are a national
iv) the choice of the United Kingdom to withdraw from the Union did not sever this link for the British, who remained on the territory of the Union and who continue to show their deep attachment and commitment to the European Union, despite the (numerous) challenges brought about by Brexit
vi) having exercised our treaty rights, the principles of legal certainty and legitimate expectations prevent our European citizenship from being withdrawn. We based our lives legally on these rights, and we did nothing in our individual capacity to lose them. The choice of our fellow countrymen and women who stayed in the UK and decided to leave, without the voices of most of us, is irrelevant in this respect.
vii) European citizenship includes rights having a monetary implication - the principle of equality prevents any fiscal disadvantage which has a consequence in terms of tax burden and therefore standard of living; the right to social transfers and to equal access to these rights has an essentially financial dimension. Third country nationals, which British in Europe have now become, will be subject to extra charges, social and others, on income, such as from capital (dividends, interest on bonds, etc.), from land ownership (income from the rental of a building) and payment for visas and work permits.
viii) Removal of European citizenship from British people in Europe is therefore the removal of what is called ‘rights and duties’, collectively known as ‘a good’. Starting from the premise that European citizenship is an element of the legal heritage of Europeans, that brings together a set of rights and duties; it constitutes in itself ‘a good’ of which no one can be deprived except if it is in the public interest. Removing goods is only possible according to the Charter of Fundamental Rights (Article 17) and the European Safeguard Convention (Article 1 of the First Additional Protocol) if in the public interest. There is no public interest in removing this right from British people in Europe.
HOW DO WE SUCCEED?
As a first step, we have been applying, via the French courts, to restore the right to vote in local elections. If we win, this will have extraordinary ramifications on restoring our EU Citizenship, thanks to the definition of EU citizenship and rule of proportionality (see below),
If we can reinstate our EU citizenship, we shall recoup the life we had before 1st January 2021 as will our close relatives.
Our cases have been successful, so far, in local (national) Courts and we have been given permission to take them to the European Court of Justice in 2021. Our legal team, led by Maitre Julien FOUCHET, also have one going to the ECHR (Human Rights),=
BACKGROUND & PROPORTIONALITY:
Our cases at the ECJ depend on precise points of law that have already been ratified into case law on the right to vote. It should be noted that the right to vote is enshrined in EU law.
Therefore, the loss of our voting rights is a provable injustice; what we are asking for is the restoration of fundamental rights that were stripped from us as of 31st January 2020. Not only can many of us not vote in the UK thanks to the 15-year rule, we are no longer able to vote (with some exceptions) in local and European elections in the countries where we have made our homes, where we have our lives. Thus we have lost a major plank of democratic freedom.
We are in the process of proving that these rights are individual, even if they came to us through membership of a specific country and cannot be removed, without due respect to the underlying principles of proportionality and proximity.
Proportionality - meaning that no decision can be taken that adversely affects a disproportionate number of individuals. There has been a breach of proportionality because the removal of our citizenship has resulted in such major negative consequences in our lives (loss of the right to vote, loss of freedom of movement, equal treatment for jobs, education, etc., welfare, family reunification rights, fiscal disadvantages) that it exceeds the advantages and becomes completely disproportionate, contrary to European values.
Proximity - meaning that decisions should be taken as close as possible to those affected by them.
The EU abides by the rule of law (‘Etat de droit’); therefore, any law should not be unduly influenced by politics.
Please support us in bringing the two linked legal cases to the EU Courts of Justice. Your support is vital to our shared cause! ?