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, flashlight europe: Brexit and Freedom of Movement in the EU: A Legal Primer

Brexit negotiations between the UK and the EU are in full swing. A main point of contention involves the freedom of movement of EU citizens. To explore the legal basis and the limitations of this key EU right, we interviewed Federico Fabbrini, professor of European Law at Dublin City University.

The decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has once more propelled the freedom of movement of people to the forefront of discussions. Against the backdrop of the ongoing Brexit negotiations, we take a closer look at the legal basis of one of the cornerstones of EU integration.

What does the concept of freedom of movement imply? Who benefits from it? What legal and practical options are there to control the movement of people across EU borders? And what does Brexit mean in this context? In our interview with Federico Fabbrini, we explore the foundations of the right to free movement of EU citizens and provide answers to the questions arising particularly in the wake of Brexit.

On the one hand, Brexit has united the remaining EU-27 in affirming the indivisibility of the four freedoms. On the other hand, however, important differences exist among the EU member states on the scope that free movement should have. It is therefore likely that the issue of free movement will become part and parcel of a broader discussion on the future of Europe.
Federico Fabbrini, Professor of European Law at the School of Law & Government of Dublin City University

Federico Fabbrini is Professor of European Law at the School of Law & Government of Dublin City University (DCU) and the Director of the DCU Brexit Institute. He is also the editor of The Law & Politics of Brexit (Oxford University Press, 2017).

This publication is part of Repair and Prepare: Strengthen the euro, a larger research project of the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Jacques Delors Institut – Berlin on the future of the euro. More information at:


Publication: flashlight europe 07/2017: Brexit and Freedom of Movement in the EU: A legal primer


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