Germany sees over 300 pct surge in Britons seeking citizenship amid Brexit decision

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 13.06.2017 11:29
Updated 13.06.2017 12:42
A picture made available on 05 May 2014 shows a woman walking up to the passport control point for citizens of the European Union at Duesseldorf Airport which uses the new automatic easy-pass control system. (EPA Photo)
A picture made available on 05 May 2014 shows a woman walking up to the passport control point for citizens of the European Union at Duesseldorf Airport which uses the new automatic easy-pass control system. (EPA Photo)

The number of Britons who became German citizens leapt 361 percent in 2016, the Federal Statistics Office said on Tuesday, with many concerned that the vote will make it more difficult for them to live and work in the European Union in future.

In total, 2,865 Britons took German citizenship last year, the office said. The rise is likely to be far greater this year as it takes several months to obtain a German passport.

"The link to Brexit seems clear," said the Office.

Some Britons may be concerned that Britain will make a hard Brexit, leaving it outside the single market and with limited freedom of movement in the bloc.

Britain is due to leave the European Union in 2019, but last week's election disaster for Theresa May, who remains Prime Minister but without an overall majority in parliament, has raised questions over what kind of a Brexit deal will be agreed.

Britons were, however, still a relatively small group. In all, 110,383 people were given German citizenship, a 2.9 percent increase.

The largest group of people taking up German citizenship came from Turkey although the total of 16,290 was down 17.3 percent from last year. Some 6,632 Poles became Germans in 2016, an increase of 11.3 percent.

Foreigners can apply for German citizenship after eight years' residence. Nationals of other EU countries and Switzerland can keep their existing passports.

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