Brit expats in Germany rushing for German citizenship

Published:  30 Oct at 6 PM
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A new study has revealed a massive increase in numbers of expat Brits receiving German citizenship since the Brexit referendum.

As the Brexit debacle grinds on, the true cost to British expats and to the UK itself continues to be revealed in many European member states. Recent research has uncovered the sad fact that the numbers of British expats living and working in Germany who’ve now received German citizenship has soared by over 1000 per cent since 2016. In 2015, some 622 UK expats became German citizens, around 7500 naturalisations took place in 2017 and the numbers for 2019 are predicted to beat even 2017’s total.

It’s not just the fact that British expats’ fates post-Brexit have largely been ignored by the UK government, it’s also the fact that a good number of those expat professionals who’re becoming German nationals are experts in their fields who might have been expected to bring their advanced knowledge back to the UK at some time in the future. For those whose careers are at present rooted in EU member states, losing their freedom of movement and the official validity of their qualifications could well result in the loss of their jobs in Germany and the uprooting of themselves and their families back to a UK in post-Brexit chaos.

High-talent British expats in many sectors have been fearing for their jobs and personal security ever since the result of the referendum was announced, with their worst fears now coming true as yet another extension is granted by the EU, thus dragging decision time still further down the road. Researchers are now interpreting the huge increase in the numbers of UK citizens deciding to throw their lot in with their adopted countries as a significant social phenomenon not seen before and needing to be studied and understood.

Many Britons at present living in Germany but without the German language skills necessary to obtain citizenship are in an even worse situation, with nothing to do but hope and pray they won’t be summarily thrown out of their preferred country of residence. It’s assumed this will not happen unless German expats in the UK are forced to leave, but even this assumption isn’t set in tablets of stone in spite of Angela Merkel’s recent reassurances.

It’s the same for all EU citizens living and working in the UK right now, with few believing another three months of brinkmanship will bring certainty back into their lives, especially taking into account the Windrush scandal and the apparent instability of the UK’s newly-appointed PM.
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