Issue of Britons retaining EU citizenship must wait

An appeal court in Amsterdam has thrown out a lower court’s decision to refer to the European Court of Justice a question on whether Britons may remain EU citizens after Brexit.

The Appeal court agreed that there is a question to be resolved as to whether Britons' EU citizenship can survive Brexit and that this should be referred to the ECJ – but said that this should wait until the outcome of the Brexit negotiations is known.

Only at that point should the matter be referred to the ECJ in Luxembourg as to whether that outcome breaches EU law by treating Britons as having lost EU citizenship.

The court did not distinguish between Britons living in the EU or Britons in the UK, so it is possible that all British people might yet retain EU citizenship.

Those bringing the case have argued that EU citizenship is separate to national citizenship and should not be lost due to citizens' country leaving the EU. 
British barrister Jolyon Maughan previously told Connexion the argument relies on article 20 of the Lisbon Treaty, which says EU citizenship is ‘additional’ to member state citizenship.

He said: “Previous cases in the ECJ have talked about the fact that EU citizenship is a real thing and gives rights in addition to those that come from national citizenship."

Previous articles:

ECJ asked to rule on Britons’ EU citizenship 

Britons' EU rights bid approved

Appeal allowed against post-Brexit EU citizenship bid 

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