The UK Government’s approach to EU nationals who subsequently become naturalised as British citizens has been found to be unlawful by the Court of Justice of the European Union.
As we previously covered, one of the main disadvantages for EU citizens who wish to naturalise was the loss of their free movement rights. For many, becoming British has meant that they have been unable to bring family members to the UK under EU law and have instead found that the family members are not eligible to come under UK law which is usually much stricter.
The case of Lounes means that the UK’s approach has been wrong since 2012.
In practice, this means that fresh applications could now be made in relation to EU Citizens who have naturalised and have been denied their free movement rights.
In reality however, the UK Government must confirm that it will change its approach in order that EU citizens can benefit from this ruling. Historically, this has taken some time in similar scenarios. We would therefore advise EU citizens to take a cautious approach to naturalisation as a British citizen if retaining rights under EU law is important to them until the position is clear.
We will provide an update when there is further information.