The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) has clarified this Thursday that British residents in a Member State lost with Brexit the right to vote or run as a candidate in municipal elections in their country of residence because with the departure of the United Kingdom of the community club its nationals also lost their European citizenship.
The case dates back to 2020, when a British citizen – with residence in France since 1984 but without nationality of the host country – went to the French courts to challenge the decision to withdraw her registration from the electoral roll of her municipality of residence, Thoux, as a consequence of Brexit.
This person argued that he no longer enjoyed the right to vote or stand as a candidate in the United Kingdom because he lost it by spending more than 15 years residing abroad and that Since Brexit, he has also been denied in France, despite residing in this country long before the divorce between the United Kingdom and the EU was consummated.
In this context, the European Justice clarifies in its ruling this Thursday that the European citizenship conferred on EU citizens who reside in another Member State the right to vote in that second country in municipal elections “requires possession of the nationality of a Member State”.
The right to active or passive suffrage for nationals of third countries, however, is not included in any provision of the Treaties, adds the ruling of the Court based in Luxembourg.
Therefore, the fact that a British national who does not also hold the nationality of the Member State in which he resides loses the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections in the country that hosts him is “an automatic consequence of the mere decision adopted sovereignly by United Kingdom to withdraw from the Union.