For obvious reasons I am very concerned about any post-Brexit legal settlement for EEA nationals in the United Kingdom. Whatever my loyalties, my silly little burgundy booklet still carries the legend “Bundesrepublik Deutschland” just under “Europäische Union”. For Britons living on the Continent and Europeans living in Britain, a just settlement is a necessity.
To an extent I can understand frustrations on the European side. HM’s government hasn’t exactly been “on topic”. Any Briton who settles on the Continent prior to 30 March 2019 will retain exactly the rights s/he holds now. This is per the letter of European law and is in no way, shape or form surprising. The British government has not provided nearly as much clarity in this respect. I do not, however, think that the EU is being entirely fair. The common law is not a Continental system and its workings are almost beyond comprehension for those unfortunate enough to know nothing but the rude and primitive mechanics of Roman Law. “Settled status” isn’t an inferior category, it’s a legal settlement that reflects a highly unusual set of circumstances.
What I find odious is the insistence that EEA nationals in the United Kingdom should have the right of appeal to the ECJ. This would, in effect, create a de facto partial extraterritoriality. Britons would have no higher court of appeal than the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. A Pole, Italian or Swede would have this right — and the right of appeal to the Curia at Luxembourg. This is something of which I disapprove strongly. One of the main reasons why I prefer to settle permanently in England-Wales is common law. I do not trust Continental legal systems. At the moment the German legal system is giving me grey hairs. No, I’m not in any sort of legal trouble but there are some family travails in which I’m now caught up as a bystander. It’s sickens me to the point that, upon acquiring a British passport I will be sorely tempted to renounce German citizenship if that act isn’t tantamount to the same.