A group of campaigners have filed a court case with the General Court of the European Union that argues EU citizenship is permanent status regardless of Brexit.
The pro-EU activists believe legally all 66 million continue to hold the status, even when the transition period ends, allowing them to freely move and work in all 27 countries of the bloc.
As The New European reported last month, the legal case acknowledges that not all rights will applicable to UK residents – such as the right to vote or stand in European elections – but believe freedom of movement rights can still be preserved.
The campaigners argue that such status cannot be removed without their consent.
If successful it would allow UK citizens to remain EU citizens.
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Dr Alexandra von Westernhagen, one of the lawyers behind the case, explained to The London Economic: ‘Our case is formally an action partially to annul the decision of the EU Council of Ministers of 30 January 2020 which approved the UK/EU Withdrawal Agreement, insofar as it deprives the applicants, without their consent and without due process, of their status as EU citizens and their rights resulting from that status.
‘The case asks what is the nature of the EU itself: is it a Union for its member states only? Or is it also a Union for and between the people of Europe? This is a fundamental question for all 515 million EU citizens and everybody else who believes in the idea of an international, value-based citizenship.’
The European Commission denied to comment further, but said: ‘We take note of the intention to begin legal proceedings.’
Remain campaigners had hoped associate EU citizenship would allow those that did not support Brexit to retain links with the EU after the end of the transition period at the end of the year.