Barrister launches new bid to save Britons' EU rights

A French barrister dedicated to fighting cases on Britons’ Brexit rights has launched a new bid to protect EU citizenship rights for Britons with a well-established private and family life in EU countries like France.

Basing his case on an EU regulation from April this year exempting Britons from Schengen visitor visas in the case of no-deal (if the UK reciprocates), which treats Britons as non-EU citizens, Julien Fouchet of Bordeaux and Paris barristers Cornille Pouyanne Fouchet has lodged an emergency procedure in the General Court of the EU in Luxembourg.

The aim is to protect EU citizenship and free movement rights for Britons who can show they have built their lives in France, for example spending many years in the country, and having family and/or friends or owning property.

He is taking the case on behalf of Mrs Hilary Walker, who lives in Spain and works in Gibraltar. He argues that she and other complainants have built up a private and family life over more than 15 years with another state where they have close links, including in some cases a spouse or children of the state’s nationality, or owning property.

In the Tjebbes case in March the European Court of Justice said EU citizenship should not be removed without taking into consideration any disproportionate impact on a person’s private, family and professional life.

A crowdfunder to help pay expenses for the case can be found at this link (the page was originally launched for a similar previous case but funds pledged will go towards all Mr Fouchet's cases regarding EU citizenship rights).

Mr Fouchet has launched multiple legal actions on Britons' EU rights in recent years, latterly working pro bono on all these cases (waiving his fees). He had already done work related to EU law but his first case linked to Brexit arose when a Briton in the south-west of France sought his help over being excluded from the Brexit referendum because of the UK's '15-year-rule'. 

Connexion was the first national, and first English-language, media to break news of the case and has reported on Mr Fouchet's work for the British community since then. Previous articles can be found by scrolling back through our website's Brexit section or using putting 'Fouchet' into the search box on the site.

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