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Montevideo, September 25th 2018 - 19:09 UTC

30.000 EU nationals apply to become British citizens since Brexit vote

Saturday, August 26th 2017 - 08:04 UTC
Full article 4 comments
The rise comes as ONS figures showed a fall in net migration, partly due to a rise in EU nationals leaving the UK. The rise comes as ONS figures showed a fall in net migration, partly due to a rise in EU nationals leaving the UK.

Nearly 30,000 EU nationals applied to become British citizens in the 12 months after last summer's Brexit vote - almost double the number of the previous year. Home Office statistics show 28,502 such applications between July 2016 and June 2017, up 80% from 15,871 in 2015-16. The total number of applications, from all nationalities, fell by 8%.

 The rise comes as ONS figures showed a fall in net migration, partly due to a rise in EU nationals leaving the UK.

Jonathan Portes, a professor at King's College London, said: “Historically, immigrants from outside the EU have been much more likely than EU migrants to apply for UK citizenship.”

But the uncertainty over EU citizens' rights in the UK after Brexit means “many EU citizens living here are seeking UK citizenship, at least as an insurance policy”, he added.

One of the most noticeable changes was among Germans, with applications almost tripling. Applications from nationals of eight eastern European countries which joined the EU in 2004 rose by 45% to 9,841 - Poland had the highest with 6,179.

The Home Office report said increases in applications from EU nationals in recent years are “likely to reflect immigration in earlier years while the most recent rise may be partly due to the impact of rule changes and recent events”.

The rights of the three million EU citizens living in the UK following Brexit is one of the key issues in the UK government's negotiations with Brussels. While there has been a rise in applications from EU nationals, the number from the rest of the world has fallen by 18% in the last 12 months - from 131,266 to 107,410.

Meanwhile, ONS figures released on Thursday showed net migration - the difference between those entering and leaving the UK - fell 81,000 to 246,000 in the year to March 2017. That was partly because the number of EU citizens who decided to leave the UK increased by 33,000 year-on-year to 122,000 - the highest departure number for nearly a decade.

Categories: Politics, International.

Top Comments

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  • DemonTree

    That's surprisingly low if there are really 3m EU citizens living in the UK. For comparison over 51,000 British citizens applied for Irish passports in just the first quarter of 2017, an increase of 20,000 on the same period last year. Looks like more British citizens want EU citizenship than vice versa after Brexit.

    Aug 27th, 2017 - 10:42 am 0
  • Sassy

    The question is why is this piece appearing in Mercopenguin, a British government propaganda organ supposedly devoted to America, South America and the “South Atlantic”?

    Aug 27th, 2017 - 02:58 pm 0
  • Clyde15

    You mean that you and your ALTER EGOS have not figured that one out ?.
    What a dimwit....think about it.

    Aug 28th, 2017 - 12:13 pm 0
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