EU court ruled that UK citizens living in EU countries can't vote

BRUSSELS -- Thursday's ruling by the European Union's highest court was that British citizens who have been living in 27 EU member states for a long time are not eligible to vote or run for office in the bloc unless the have obtained a European citizenship.

EU court ruled that UK citizens living in EU countries can't vote

BRUSSELS -- Thursday's ruling by the European Union's highest court was that British citizens who have been living in 27 EU member states for a long time are not eligible to vote or run for office in the bloc unless the have obtained a European citizenship.

This ruling was made in what was seen to be a test case regarding the rights of U.K citizens, who still live in the EU despite Britain leaving the bloc two years earlier. Over 1 million Britons lived in Europe. Many were against Brexit in January 2020, and their lives were disrupted.

A British woman, who had lived in France for over three decades, first filed the case in France. She was not eligible to vote in French local elections in March 2020 because she was removed from the electoral rolls after Brexit. She declined to apply for French citizenship.

The initials E.P. were used to identify the woman. In accordance with court practice, the woman claims that she was denied her right to vote in both the EU and the U.K. due to a rule that prohibits people from voting if their residence abroad is more than 15 years.

According to a court declaration, however, the European Court of Justice ruled people who lived in Europe before Brexit "no longer have the status of citizen of Union" and, more specifically, they no longer have the right to vote in local elections in their Member States of residence.

According to the Luxembourg-based court, "this is an automatically resulting consequence of the sole sovereign decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union."

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