More Britons are opting to secure EU citizenship in alternative EU countries
The number of Britons becoming citizens of another EU country more than doubled in 2016, data showed, and it looks like the trend is set to continue.
According the Eurostat findings on EU migration and citizenship, in 2016 the largest relative increase in receiving EU citizenship compared with 2015 was for the citizens of the United Kingdom; the number more than doubled from 2 478 people in 2015 to 6 555 people in 2016, or +165%.
It followed a rise in the previous year of 2015, when the number of Brits seeking citizenship in another EU country more than doubled from 655 to 2,478.
As worried EU resident Brits raced to secure the advantages of national and European citizenship, it was Germany that became their top choice. In 2016 some 2,702 Britons chose to take citizenship in Germany, which is more than four times the 2015 figure of 594.
Sweden came second; in 2016 the country gave citizenship to 978 resident Brits.
Thousands of UK citizens holding jobs in Brussels worried that their employment may depend on their being EU citizens. In 2016 Belgium granted passports to 506 Brits, four times as many as in 2015.
It looks like uncertainty around Brexit is keeping the momentum going. According to The Local, ever more Brits become French, with Brits making up 6% of the new French citizens who already had an EU passport.
Just under 440 Brits were granted French citizenship in 2016 compared to 320 in 2015. However, since then the number exploded to over 1,500 in 2017.
According to statistics provided by the Finnish Immigration Service, Migri, the number of British people applying for Finnish citizenship has increased exponentially since 2016. The total number of applications in 2016 was 64, almost double the 33 received in 2015. The 2016 figure roughly trebled in 2017, with 153 citizenship applications submitted, and 2018 is on course to set a new record.
On the whole, as Eurostat data show, there has been a steadily rising trend in Britons becoming nationals of other EU states over the past decade, with the 2016 figure more than four times higher than in 2007.