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Brunel human rights experts present legal analysis to Brexit taskforce


Legal analysis by Brunel University London experts on the obligation of EU Member States to protect the right to private and family life of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU has been presented to high-level European officials in the taskforce behind Brexit negotiations.  

A delegation from civil society group New Europeans, supported by Brunel’s Britain in Europe (BiE) think-thank, recently met in Brussels with two senior officials in European Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier's taskforce on Article 50.

During the meeting, BiE founder Dr Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos presented the results of legal analysis by BiE on the obligation of Member States to protect the right to private and family life.

This obligation is in accordance with international human rights law, Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights in particular - and the duty that derives from this to immediately and unilaterally recognise the right of non-UK European citizens to remain in Britain (and the right of British citizens to remain in the EU countries where they currently live). 

Barnier’s taskforce confirmed that protecting the rights of the EU citizens is an absolute priority for the EU, and a prerequisite for opening the negotiations in the future relationship of the EU with the UK.

Dr Giannoulopoulos and BiE colleagues were also quoted in the latest edition of the European Parliament’s magazine, in an article drawing attention to their research, which is central in shaping New Europeans’ campaign to protect citizens’ rights. 

In collaboration with UK socialist MEP, Julie Ward, BiE and New Europeans have sent a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk calling for an end to citizens "being used as bargaining chips" in the Brexit negotiations. Ward also submitted an urgent written question to President Donald Tusk, co-authored by Dr Giannoulopoulos, and signed by 26 MEPs from across the EU.

“Article 8 provides strong support to the argument that the EU must now unilaterally recognise the rights of UK citizens in the EU,” explains Dr Giannoulopoulos in The Parliament Magazine.

“Unless it does so, it risks causing irreparable damage upon the right to private and family life of 4.5 million Europeans, bringing disrepute to the system of human rights protection in Europe and overwhelming the administration of justice in affected EU countries.”

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(Image: BiE founder and director Dimitrios Giannoulopoulos)

Reported by:

Sarah Cox, Media Relations