THE European Union’s top court on Thursday dismissed legal actions from three British nationals who had challenged their loss of EU citizens’ rights as a result of Brexit.

Many Britons who live and work in the EU have found their lives have become more complicated in regard to work and residency permits following the UK’s decision to leave the group.

The cases involved a British national who lost her right to vote in France and a challenge from the late veteran Harry Shindler in Italy over rights being removed without a ‘test of proportionality’.

A third litigant questioned the link between citizenship of an EU member state and EU citizenship, arguing the latter is a fundamental status that, once acquired, cannot be removed from the individual.

The initial legal challenges were rejected by the General Court of the European Court of Justice in June 2021, with the Brits then taking the matter to appeal.

The Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice has now given a final ruling that the British nationals lacked a cause of action.

They said that their loss of European status ‘is an automatic consequence of the sole decision taken by the United Kingdom to withdraw from the Union, not the Withdrawal Agreement or the Council’s decision’.

“The Court concludes that the British citizens do not have an interest in bringing proceedings and that the General Court rightly rejected their actions as inadmissible,” it said.

Prior to Britain’s exit from the EU, around a million Britons were said to be living in the block according to statistics from the UK.


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