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  4. What does Brexit tell us about the evolution of EU citizenship?




What does Brexit tell us about the evolution of EU citizenship?




Seminar Series: Institute for the Study of European Laws (ISEL)

Speaker: Dr Stephanie Reynolds, University of Liverpool

Amongst a plethora of other issues, Brexit has raised significant questions about what it means to be a Union citizen, casting serious doubt, in particular, on the Court of Justice’s longstanding claim that EU citizenship is ‘destined to be the fundamental status of the nationals of the Member States’. Specifically, Brexit has reinvigorated the important argument, both from academic commentators and certain political actors, that the time has come to cut the cord between Member State nationality and EU citizenship if the latter is to offer anything meaningful to Union citizens.

Conversely, Brexit appears to have diverted the debate away from equally vital discussions about the consequences of EU citizenship’s birth from the internal market. While EU citizenship’s links to Member State nationality are questioned, the substance of its purportedly protective rights offering is presumed in the Brexit context. Indeed, post-referendum, the focus has been on ensuring that rights contained in the Withdrawal Agreement sufficiently emulate those enjoyed under Union citizenship rules, with less attention being paid to the essential question of whether EU citizenship rights of themselves offer sufficient protection to citizens. This paper argues that, rather than showcasing the substantive benefits of EU citizenship, Brexit exposes its ongoing flaws. Nationality requirements aside, the market citizen will enjoy ongoing protection after the UK leaves the EU, but for all its promises Union citizenship appears to have little to offer anyone else.

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When and where

1.00pm - 3.00pmWednesday 13th February 2019

D221 City, University of London Northampton Square London EC1V 0HB United Kingdom

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