Five citizens arguing Brexit can’t remove existing rights will have their case heard at the European Court of Justice.
U.K. nationals living in continental Europe seeking to keep their rights after Brexit have won the right to have their case heard at the European Court of Justice.
Five British nationals last month asked a court in Amsterdam to refer their case to the European Court of Justice. On Wednesday, the judge ruled their case will be heard in Luxembourg, the Guardian reported.
The legal verdict handed down by the ECJ could have implications for more than one million Britons living on the Continent. The plaintiffs argue their rights as EU citizens cannot be removed by Brexit: Their argument is based on Article 20 of the Lisbon treaty, which states “citizenship of the union shall be additional to and not replace national citizenship.”
The challenge is being led by lobbying group Brexpats-Hear Our Voice. A spokesman said the legal effort “has always been about seeking clarification, not only for the 46,000 Brits living in the Netherlands, but also for all the 1.2 million Brits living in other EU countries.”
“You cannot play with the lives of 1.2 million people as if they are pieces on a chessboard,” the spokesperson said.
Opposing the case, Erik Pijnacker, counsel for the Dutch government, argued the plaintiffs’ claim was “without merit and totally unfounded,” according to the Guardian.
Following Wednesday’s decision, the Amsterdam judge will issue draft questions to be presented to the ECJ in Luxembourg within two weeks, the Guardian reported.