Brexit and the Argentinisation of British citizenship: Taking care not to overstay your 90 days in Rome, Amsterdam or Paris

von Dimitry Kochenov

This is an updated version of the article „Brexit and Citizenship“ written before the referendum.

What are the likely consequences of Brexit for the status and rights of British citizenship? Is it possible to mitigate the overwhelming negative consequences of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on the plane of the rights enjoyed by the citizens of the UK? The Brexit referendum result will most likely mark one of the most radical losses in the value of a particular nationality in recent history, also standing out as a most remarkable vote favouring the dramatic reduction of rights enjoyed by all without, at the same time, outlining any clear problem that such a downgrade would seek to solve.

A glance at the EU Treaty makes clear that EU citizenship as such cannot possibly affect, legally speaking at least, the regulation of withdrawals from the Union: Article 50 TEU, which establishes the procedure to be followed by any withdrawing state, does not contain any EU citizenship-related conditions. Imposing such on a people of a Member State that has just voted precisely to leave the Union would be nothing but a direct attack on the letter and purpose of the provision making withdrawals possible.

This being said, we have to realize that from the day when the UK withdraws, UK nationals are by definition not EU citizens any more: the Treaties are quite clear about the fact that this legal status is based on the nationalities of the Member States (Art. 9 TEU). Once the UK is not a Member State, its nationality cannot possibly trigger EU citizenship status ...

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