BREXIT, NATIONALITY AND UNION CITIZENSHIP: BOTTOM UP#

The Academia Europaea History & Archaeology Section, held its first bi-annual workshop, which was hosted at the Academia’s Wrocław Hub, on September 3rd and 4th 2018. Following the AE Council’s recommendation, as specified during the 2017 Budapest Conference, the workshop theme, «Mobility: a bridge between the past and the present», sought to encourage presentations from other sections and classes of the Academia.

The Wrocław workshop programme thus included presentations that stemmed from various viewpoints, aside from archaeology or history, such as technology, geopolitics or law. The topics chosen covered a chronological span which extended from the Middle Ages to the present. This was the case with the paper presented by Prof. Hans Ulrich Jessurun d’Oliveira, from the Law Section of AE, under the title «Brexit and sustained mobility». Prof. d’Oliveira truly fascinated his audience with his argued disclosure of some of the – seldom talked about, or even thought about – consequences of «Brexit» with regard to nationality, national identity and the potential population mobility derived from such consequences.

The «immediate nature» of the topic has led the workshop organisers to consider, at the unanimous request of all workshop participants, the immediate broadcast of Prof. d’Oliveira’s paper, through the various AE information websites, rather that wait for a scholarly journal publication which – inevitably – would have to depend on a given standard delay.

«Brexit» is formally scheduled to take place in March 2019. It would be useful, not to say indispensable, for all in Academia Europaea, as well as for the public at large, to read Prof. d’Oliveira’s paper. His seemingly dispassionate legalistic approach to the nationality issue is truly a prophetic warning of unforeseen developements to come. Niccolò Macchiavelli once wrote that: «hence it comes about that all armed Prophets have been victorious, and all unarmed Prophets have been destroyed». Let us hope that Prof. d’Oliveira, armed with the unquestionable knowledge of facts and their logical consequences, may belong the first category.

Nikita Harwich
History & Archaeology Section chair

Abstract#

Brexit has caused anxiety among EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom and among UK citizens residing in (other) EU countries. Their secure residency status as EU citizens has become shaky: UK citizens lose their status as EU citizens, and EU citizens may lose their residency status as the UK regains control on immigration after Brexit. Negotiations between the UK and the EU try to solve their predicaments. As the outcome is as yet not cast in stone, the migrants involved seek their own solutions. For a number of them an available solution is the acquisition of the nationality of either the UK or that of one of the EU member states.In my paper I will show that this bottom up approach, where the citizens take their destiny in their own hands, takes various forms, dependent on nationality laws of the states involved and their own opportunities. A few examples. UK citizens of Portuguese Jewish descent may opt for the nationality of Spain or Portugal, as these states have in recent years opened this possibility as a kind of Wiedergutmachung for the murder and banishment of their forbears.Likewise, UK citizens, descendants of German Jews exiled under the nazi regime, are now reacquiring German nationality. A numbers of persons seek to acquire the nationality of their partner, either to strenghten their residency status after Brexit, or in order to gain access to member states of the EU and retain their mobility in the EU. All this depends on the available laws on nationality, especially dispositions on plural nationality. Interestingly, some of these laws are changing under the pressure of Brexit.






Prof. Hans Ulrich Jessurun d’Oliveira
Hans Ulrich Jessurun d'Oliveira specializes in private international law, nationality law and immigration rights. Professor Emeritus from the University of Amsterdam and the European University Institute in Florence. He has several hundred academic publications to his name, has edited a number of literary journals (Propria Cures, Tirade and Merlyn) and, between 1975 and 2003, he was editor of the Dutch weekly periodical for the legal profession, the Nederlands Juristedblad. He frequently publishes opinion columns and editorials in the daily and weekly dutch press.
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