On 7 February 2018 the District Court of Amsterdam has decided to ask some questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union. And it is very likely that those questions concern you.
Politicians in the UK and the other 27 Member States have been negotiating about what Brexit means for EU citizenship. As things stand, if you are a UK citizen living in the EU on the date of Brexit your rights to live and work throughout Europe will be restricted. If you are a UK citizen living in the UK on the date of Brexit your rights to live and work throughout Europe will disappear.
“As things stand” because we are arguing that the politicians have got it wrong. We say they are negotiating on the basis of a flawed understanding of the law. We say that if you are a UK citizen on Brexit day you will continue to enjoy your EU citizenship rights after Brexit. Alternatively if you are a UK citizen living in the EU on the date of Brexit your rights cannot be curtailed. Because we say that European law gives you those rights. And they cannot be taken away from you. Not by Brexit and not by politicians. They are yours.
Why is this important?
If we succeed this will be the most important case of modern times. What other piece of litigation has retained hugely important rights to over 60 million people? Even if the UK leaves the EU you will not lose your citizenship rights. And even if we only succeed on our alternative argument, still we will give rights to over a million people living throughout Europe.
And our prospects are real. Read this piece (written for academics) by the President of the Court of Justice, Koen Lenaerts, analysing the previous case law on EU citizenship. Or this piece, for the Guardian, in which I explain the arguments and why I believe the Court of Justice will be sympathetically disposed towards them.
Why are we raising funds?
The costs of the case so far have been privately funded – a task made very much easier by the generosity and public service ethos of bureau Brandeis, the Dutch lawyers who argued the case. But we must now crowdfund the final leg – written statements to and the hearing before the Court of Justice in Luxembourg.
Those costs, agreed with bureau Brandeis, will be capped at the euro equivalent of £185,000 (less CrowdJustice costs). There is no initial target or so-called “stretch” target. All of those costs will be incurred on fighting that final leg.
If you value your EU citizenship rights, if you think your children should enjoy what you have been able to enjoy – the right to live and work freely throughout Europe, if you value the European project and the social and economic dividends of its peoples working and living together, there cannot be money better spent.
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