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Case on Brits keeping EU citizenship stalls in Dutch courts


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We recently covered the case taken by British migrants living in the Netherlands that had, it appeared, succeeded in its aim of getting the Court of Justice of the European Union to decide whether their EU citizenship survives Brexit. The headline was British migrants trying to keep EU citizenship get Court of Justice hearing.

It appears to have been premature. On 21 February, one of the lawyers involved in the case, Jo Maugham QC, reported that the decision of the Dutch courts to send the case on to Luxembourg has already been appealed.

Paul had raised concerns in his piece about the merits of the case in his post, and it has since come in for academic criticism. But everyone assumed that there would be a CJEU decision, even if unfavourable to the migrants. It now seems that the case may not get that far.

The Dutch government has been granted permission to appeal judge Floris Bakels’s decision to make a reference to the Court of Justice. The appeal will reportedly be heard on 19 April. If successful, the case will proceed no further. If unsuccessful, the Court of Justice will consider the issue after all.

The crowdfunding campaign that raised £40,000 for the Court of Justice hearing has been closed for now, but donors have given a further £60,000 in a separate appeal to cover the costs of the Dutch appeal. It is one of a number of fundraising efforts associated with legal challenges to Brexit, including an abortive effort via the Irish courts to establish whether the Article 50 notice of withdrawal from the EU can be revoked and a similar failed effort in the Scottish Court of Session that is under appeal at time of writing.

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