Alice Boulliez decided that she would not be orphaned by Brexit after Boris Johnson made her and millions of others “Citizens of Nowhere”. A 62 year old British housewife and farmer, living in France with two children has turned into a Brexit Avenger alongside Claire Godfrey Le Monnier, Grazia Valentino Boschi and a group of other citizens who call themselves EuBritizens. Unable to vote in the Brexit referendum and are now united in outrage by the careless approach of the Brexit Government in looking after their rights. If they succeed in their legal actions, they may help millions of others to gain their voting rights back, freedom of movement and other civil liberties that people enjoyed before Brexit.
“To be disenfranchised is a horrible feeling, like a motherless child. Your orphan voice does not matter. The suffragettes were not fighting for something they had lost, nor something that they had had previously; they were fighting for new rights. I am fighting to regain my right to be counted as a sentient human being.”
Alice wrote to Lord Heseltine, The Queen and lobbied people in Brussels. Eventually, she found Julien Fouchet, who was looking to take a case to the French courts. The case was heard in the Court of Justice before Judge Romanello. He, in turn, sent it through to the ECJ in November 2020, having collected over 500 replies from people in similar situations. The case has since reached the UK Select Committee on the effects of Brexit.
If our actions succeed, we hope to confirm our status as European citizens with full rights. We also hope for both freedom of movement and municipal and European electoral rights as a corresponding status to Settled Status in the UK.
“European citizenship was given to me when the UK joined the European Union. From that moment on, I have been a fully-fledged and exemplary European citizen. I own that citizenship. It is my inalienable right. Since Brexit, my only privilege now is to pay my taxes, with what in return?”
Many other lives and livelihoods rest on the success of this case. What are we to say to Mrs Page who had planned to live out her retirement in a lovely house in the French countryside surrounded by her animals, whose income was severely affected by Brexit and who is now in a sad retirement home near London? To Mr Duke whose Carte Vitale is still not available to him and has to pay out of his pocket for health care? To Mike Johnson whose girls who have always lived in France and who now has difficulty getting them a Carte de Sejour? Or to the twins who went for French nationality, one got it, one didn’t?
We refuse to be orphaned by Brexit and Boris Johnson.
Alice Boulliez, EuBritizens