Since 1993, UK citizens have enjoyed EU and UK dual citizenship, enjoying the four freedoms that include traveling to the other 27 countries without need of a passport, and running their businesses treating international clients the same way they would treat the pub down the street.
That could all soon change if the Brexit continues as planned starting with the activation of Article 50 this spring. Many UK citizens would like to keep their EU citizenship but as this article points out, it’s probably unlikely.
Thus the idea of a “associate citizenship” has sprung up lately, with European Parliament (EP) representative Guy Verhofstadt making note of during the initial Brexit talks.
Is it a possibility for UK citizens living both at home and abroad to retain some sort of connection to the EU? Let’s consider the possibilities and implications for EU and UK dual citizenship.
Whose Job Is It?
The first problem with Verhofstadt either himself or on behalf of the EP is that neither he nor it actually has the sort of power to do something like this. It’s up to the EU Council to decide who negotiates; but know that it has never chosen the EP for this role. It should be noted that the EP could veto the final Article 50 treaty, and this may be where Verhofstadt is getting his cheek. It is conceivable that the EP could refuse to ratify the treaty without those caveats for UK citizens.
When Is A State Not A State?
Many argue that you cannot actually be a citizen of the EU because the EU isn’t a state; citizenship in the EU comes from being a citizen of one of the member states of the EU. Under this theory, individual states of the EU could offer UK nationals citizenship in their countries; either free or at a cost, to apply for citizenship in those countries, thus reinstating them in the EU.
Therefore, they would have EU and UK dual citizenship.
Another possibility exists in terms of creating an Ex-EU status for UK citizens that allows them some but not all EU citizen rights. The free trade rights will be out the window as a negotiation for individual citizens; this is something that will be handled by the Government of the UK and its corollary in the EU. What most UK citizens are after is the right to continually move freely throughout the member countries.
Summing Up: EU And UK Dual Citizenship
The idea of EU and UK dual citizenship is just one more log in the fire that Brexit has started. While the manoeuvre itself may have won the popular vote last spring, it has become painfully obvious that the implications and repercussions of such a move stretch far and wide across the UK, and will need serious consideration before the separation from the EU is wholly completed.
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