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

Wednesday 13th February 2019
D221, City, University of London, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB

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.


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