That petition in full

Here’s the petition text that I’m speaking to next week (June 21st 2017) at a European Parliament meeting of the EU Petitions Committee.  I aim to establish that there should be an appeal process on loss of citizenship and that citizen participation should inform the Brexit negotiation. You can support the petition here by registering, then logging in, then finding the Support link on the petition page.

The petition was first submitted in October 2016 and knowing what I know now I would rewrite the petition with clearer demands but please forgive me, in contemporary UK politics nine months is a long time.  When I present the petition I’ll be commenting on the legality and ethics of the EU’s approach to Brexit and the idea of citizens’ hearings across Europe.

Petition to the European Parliament: No provision in EU law for loss of citizenship when member state leaves. J Gutteridge, 6th October 2016

In summary:

  • EU constitutional law doesn’t provide for loss of EU citizenship rights when a state leaves the Union.
  • All citizens at risk have a right to be told what the EU would do about their citizenship and rights of protection that are enshrined in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights.
  • The EU must urgently respond to these concerns.


We request that the European Parliament urgently addresses the Treaty of Lisbon’s failure to establish how individual European Union citizenship is affected if a member state decides to withdraw from the Union.

The Treaty of Lisbon establishes that citizens of member states have European Union citizenship that is additional to and does not replace their national citizenship but it does not describe how that additional citizenship is affected by a member state leaving the EU. The Treaty does not give the member state the power to remove European Union citizenship from citizens of the Union, neither does it explain how the Union itself may remove citizenship from its citizens.

As individual European citizens from different nations our citizenship rights are equal yet it appears that withdrawal of one member state from the Union is assumed to lead to termination of the European Union citizenship of all citizens of that state. As EU citizens we demand to know what steps the Union will take to protect our EU citizenship and if the answer is “none” then we demand to be told.

We believe that the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights supports our call. Article 41 of the Charter establishes the right of every person to be heard, before any individual measure which would affect him or her adversely is taken. It creates an obligation of the European Union administration to give reasons for its decisions. Yet no article of the Treaty of Lisbon or information provided to citizens explains specifically what mechanism is available to Union citizens to be heard by the Union in the event that the Union prepares to remove their citizenship.

We request an urgent response. The European Union should enable concerned citizens to be aware of the status of their citizenship rights when a member state decides to leave and enable citizens to exercise our right to be heard before the state leaves.

We believe that this is a matter of concern for all EU citizens.

We recommend that the Union communicates to all European Union citizens: how their European Union citizenship could be affected by withdrawal of their nation-state, what the Union’s intentions would be towards such citizens in such circumstances, by what power it would act and how the Union would ensure that its citizens’ fundamental rights are protected.

Petition link in full: https://petiport.secure.europarl.europa.eu/petitions/en/petition/content/1142%252F2016/html/Petition-1142%252F2016-by-Jonathan-Gutteridge-%2528British%2529-on-the-lack-of-any-provision-in-EU-law-for-loss-of-citizenship-when-a-Member-State-leaves-the-European-Union

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