Consequences of Brexit: British nationals who used to enjoy the rights attached to European citizenship no longer benefit, after the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, from the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections in their Member State of residence

(Source: Court of Justice of the European Union)

EP is a British national who has resided in France since 1984 and is married to a French citizen. She has not applied for or obtained French nationality. Following the entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement linked to Brexit, the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies, France; ‘INSEE’) removed EP from the electoral roll of the Commune of Thoux (France). EP was therefore unable to take part in the municipal elections held in France on 15 March 2020.

On 6 October 2020, EP filed an application to be re-registered on the electoral roll for non-French citizens of the European Union. That application was rejected the next day by the Mayor of the Commune of Thoux. On 9 November 2020, EP brought an action before the tribunal judiciaire d’Auch (Court of Auch, France) to contest that decision.

Before that court, which is the referring court, EP asserts, inter alia, that she no longer has the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in the United Kingdom because of the British’15-year’ rule by virtue of which a British national who has resided abroad for more than 15 years is no longer entitled to take part in elections held in the United Kingdom. EP argues that she is thus deprived of the right to vote and to stand as a candidate both in France and in the United Kingdom.

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