Saturday

18th Jan 2020

Dutch request to clarify Brexit Britons' rights annulled

  • Pro-EU citizens demonstrating against Brexit in London, March 2017. (Photo: sgoldswo)

The Amsterdam court of appeal ruled on Tuesday (19 June) that the Court of Justice of the EU will not be asked to clarify the post-Brexit rights of UK citizens in the Netherlands after all, in a ruling which may have repercussions for the 1.2m Britons estimated to live in the EU.

It follows the ruling by a lower judge in the Dutch capital, last February.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

That judge had ruled in favour of five Britons living in the Netherlands worried about losing their EU citizenship as a consequence of the UK's exit from the EU.

The judge, Floris Bakels, was planning to ask the Luxembourg-based EU court to ask if the UK's withdrawal automatically leads to Britons' loss of EU citizenship, and if not, whether there should be any conditions or limits applied to the preservation of rights and obligations.

However, Bakels held off on sending his questions to Luxembourg, because the Dutch state and the city of Amsterdam appealed his decision.

On Tuesday, the higher court agreed with the Netherlands and Amsterdam.

The court of appeals said that the plaintiffs' concerns had not been concrete enough.

"We are obviously disappointed with the court's decision," said one of the plaintiffs, Stephen Huyton, on the blog of his lawyer.

"This case has always been about seeking clarification. Not only for the 46,000 Brits living in the Netherlands, but also for the 1.2 million Brits living in other EU countries. Given today's judgment much uncertainty remains," he said.

"The claimants are currently carefully examining the judgment in order to determine next steps," said their lawyer, Christiaan Alberdingk Thijm.

"These may include an appeal to the Dutch Supreme Court within three months or initiating a proceeding on the merits," he noted.

The future of UK citizens' rights is subject to UK-EU negotiations on the exit agreement.

UK pledges easy registration for EU citizens after Brexit

Ahead of Brexit negotiations later this week, the UK government insists that its planned new system for EU citizens applying for a "settled status"after Brexit will be "streamlined, low-cost and user-friendly."

EU tells UK to stop with Brexit 'fantasies'

After the latest round of Brexit talks, a senior EU official sounded the alarm bell: progress on the key Irish border issue remains elusive, while the London government is chasing pipe dreams.

Boost for Right in post-Brexit EU parliament

The far-right Identity and Democracy will overtake the Greens as the fourth-largest party in the European Parliament on 1 February, after the UK's MEPs vacate their seats.

News in Brief

  1. 'No objection in principle' on Huawei cooperation, EU says
  2. French aircraft carrier goes to Middle East amid tensions
  3. EU suggests temporary ban on facial recognition
  4. EU industry cries foul on Chinese restrictions
  5. 'Devil in detail', EU warns on US-China trade deal
  6. Trump threatened EU-tariffs over Iran, Germany confirms
  7. EU trade commissioner warns UK of 'brinkmanship'
  8. Germany strikes coal phase-out deal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us