Brits in Berlin prefer German nationality over living a Brexit life

Published:  31 May at 6 PM
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Confused and bewildered by the lack of concrete information about expat life after Brexit, UK expats in Berlin are going for German nationality rather than risking losing their lifestyles should Britain leave the EU.

Around 140,000UK citizens live and work in Berlin and the rest of Germany, with the majority in favour of their home country’s place within the European Union. It’s not known how many are permanently excluded from voting due to the failure of the Supreme Court attempt to reverse the controversial 15-year rule.

In an attempt to clarify the confusion over Brexit and its implications, UK citizen and Berlin resident John Worth founded the Berlin-based Brits, Brexit and Beer group, now expanded to include groups in Cologne, Hamburg and Munich. The groups meet regularly in order to promote voter registration, demystify proxy versus postal voting and, ultimately, to explain the German citizenship process to those who may make the decision to give up British citizenship should Brexit succeed.

According to Worth, a good number of Brit attendees at the meetings are fully prepared to take on German citizenship or dual nationality as a last resort. Living in Germany, he said, is far more important to them than risking losing everything they’ve worked for along with their right to live and work freely in the EU.

Many British expats in Germany are long-stay workers with family, friends and business ties, with a number even working as civil servants in government organisations. One such, Natasha Daniels, is a translator for Berlin’s German Justice Ministry, and has recently received her dual nationality paperwork. She’d been considering the idea for much of her 16-year residency in Germany, and was interested to find she was one of a rush of Brits asking her local municipal office for the same application forms.
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