Tony Venables, on behalf of the Foundation on European Citizens’ Rights, Involvement and Trust has brought Petition No 0101/2017 before the European Parliament on the loss of EU citizenship of 64 million people and the limitation of the rights of other EU citizens as a result of Brexit.
The petitioner considers that the loss of EU citizenship is a hidden by-product of the Brexit vote and asks whether UK citizens may be involuntarily stripped of their EU citizenship and European citizens in the UK of their rights. The petitioner stresses that voters were not warned in advance of the danger in case a majority voted to leave the EU. In the context of disenfranchisement, he underlines that those most affected persons did not even have the right to vote in the referendum and potential votes of 3.3 million European citizens resident in the UK and 1.3 million from the UK were excluded. The petitioner expresses his concern that in such a complex and unprecedented situation there is no guarantee that European rights will be maintained, even for long-terms residents and believes that there is a risk that European citizens directly concerned will become bargaining chips in negotiations under Article 50 behind closed doors between the leaving and the remaining Member States. The petitioner asks that the European Parliament use its powers of inquiry and oversight to challenge the assumption that citizens of a country leaving the EU should lose their EU citizenship by organising a public hearing with experts, including those active in European and international law, on the acquisition and loss of EU citizenship, maximising the input from European citizens both from within and outside the UK, with the aim to examine which core European rights should be maintained for European citizens in or from the UK on a reciprocal basis and most importantly to find a way to secure these rights by establishing a more inclusive EU citizenship based not only on being a national of a Member State but also on long-term residence.