Thirteen British citizens residing in Member States other than the UK asked the EU Court to cancel the EU Council decision to authorize the opening of Brexit negotiations. The Court considered the request to be inadmissible.
The plaintiffs had argued that they had been denied the right to vote in the referendum because of their expatriation, that the contested decision has direct consequences on their rights as granted by the treaties and is an act by which the Council accepted the intent notification of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. They had also put forward that a withdrawal process is null in the absence of a constitutional authorization.
The EU court ruled on Monday that the applicants are not the act’s addressees and, therefore, reiterates the rule according to which, in order to be allowed to be appealed, the act must at the very least concern applicants directly, and directly affect their legal standing.
“While the Council’s decision authorizing the opening of Brexit negotiations produces legal effects between the Union and its Member States, and between the EU institutions, particularly the Commission, which is authorized by this decision to open negotiations in view of an agreement with the UK, it does not directly affect the legal standing of the plaintiffs,” the European court stated.
The latter rejected therefore the appeal, declaring it inadmissible on the grounds that “the Council’s decision authorizing the opening of Brexit negotiations does not produce binding legal effects that alter the plaintiffs’ legal position.”