A draft bill by the German Federal Foreign Office on a transitional law for Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union shows that Germany intends to lower the obstacles for the naturalisation of British citizens. If British citizens apply for a German passport during the transition period of the “Brexit”, they will be allowed to keep their British citizenship. The draft bill is published on the Federal Foreign Office’s website (in German language) and describes the legal uncertainty caused by the “Brexit” as a severe problem. It explains that the aim of the transitional regulation is to restore legal clarity as well as legal certainty.
Brexit causes uncertainty for British citizens
Britain’s intention to withdraw from the European Union has led to a demonstrably strong increase in applications for German citizenship from the British side. According to figures published by the Federal Statistical Office in May, more than 10.000 Britons received German citizenship in the last two years – twice as many as in the previous 15 years. This trend was already confirmed in 2017 by researches of the German newspaper “Die Welt”: In 2016, 280 Britons applied for German citizenship in Hamburg, 140 in Frankfurt am Main and 60 in Berlin. The cities informed the newspaper that in 2015 there were only 79 cases in total. Along with the reduction of obstacles and the approaching exit of Great Britain, according to experts this number will continue to increase in the next years.
Shortage of specialists in Germany
The German interest behind these efforts can also be seen in the statements made by Chancellor Angela Merkel. The shortage of skilled workers is still an important topic for the German economy – the topic from where required skilled workers can come from is “very, very dominant” according to the German Chancellor.
Advantages of the German passport
The German identity document is one of the most powerful in the world: it allows visa-free entry to almost every country in the world. For Britons, however, the “Brexit” is probably the most important reason for applying for German citizenship. The upcoming and growing legal uncertainty and fear of an uncontrolled exit of Great Britain strengthens the desire of many Britons to secure the legal advantages of being an EU citizen. It will soon be clear whether and how exactly the transitional law will simplify the process: as reported by the news agency Bloomberg, the cabinet will vote in favour of the draft next Wednesday.
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