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Soaring numbers of Britons get EU citizenship following Brexit vote

Soaring numbers of Britons get EU citizenship following Brexit vote
2 min read

Soaring numbers of Britons have acquired EU citizenship since the Brexit referendum, it has been revealed.

Official data shows that 12,994 UK citizens obtained the nationality of one of the 17 EU member states who responded to a BBC request for data.

That compares to just 5,025 in 2016 and 1,800 in 2015 - the year before the referendum.

It is thought the increase is down to a desire for British citizens with European family links to hang on to the legal rights associated with EU membership.

According to the figures uncovered by the BBC, the most popular nation for Brits seeking alternative citizenship was Germany.

In 2015, just 594 British people got German citizenship, but by 2017 the figure was 7,493.

Next came France with 1,518, compared to 320 in 2015; Belgium with 1,381 (127) and Sweden with 1,203 (453).

Most of those who have applied for citizenship with other EU countries will still have dual British nationality.

Maintaining EU citizenship will guarantee their right to travel, live and work throughout the block even after Brexit.

The rights of EU citizens in Britain to continue living and working here after Brexit was one of the key sticking points of the early stages of the Government's negotiations with Brussels.

In February, the Government announced a major U-turn to give EU nationals who arrive during the Brexit transition period the right to remain indefinitely in the UK.

That marked a climbdown from January, when Theresa May said that those arriving after the end of next March would not have the same rights as people who are already here.

Lib Dem MP Layla Moran, of the pro-EU campaign group Best For Britain, said: "We are seeing a Brexidous. People have done this to give themselves some security.

"The Government dragged their feet over EU citizens' rights and this is the real life manifestation of their tactics. The Government should be incredibly embarrassed today."

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