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Top court rules UK citizens residing in the EU can’t vote in local elections

U.K. nationals living in EU member countries without EU citizenship can’t vote or run for office in local elections, according to a ruling Thursday by the Court of Justice of the European Union.

The ruling followed the case of a British national — married to a French citizen and residing in France since the 1980s, but without French nationality — who found she could no longer vote in the 2020 local elections in her region as a consequence of Brexit.

She brought an action to the court of Auch in southern France, arguing she now enjoyed no voting rights, as she had moved more than 15 years ago, and could no longer vote in British elections.

The French court took the case to the CJEU, which maintained that since “United Kingdom nationals have been, as from 1 February 2020, nationals of a third State, they lost the status of citizen of the Union and no longer enjoy the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections in their Member State of residence.”

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