LONDON — The number of Britons becoming German citizens jumped 361% last year, according to the German Federal Statistics Office, on concerns Brexit will make it harder to work and travel within the European Union.
A total of 2,865 Britons took German citizenship in 2016, the same year as the referendum to leave the EU.
Around 110,000 people became German citizens last year, up 2.9% on 2015, with Britons by far the biggest risers.
With 16,290, Turkey had the largest number of people taking German citizenship despite the number falling 17.3% as diplomatic relations between the countries became strained.
“The number of citizens of the United Kingdom who were naturalised as German citizens increased in particular, which suggests some link with the Brexit issue,” the statistics office said.
Here’s the chart:
A survey by the Pew Research Center of nearly 10,000 citizens across 10 European nations, including the UK, showed that a sharp dip in the EU’s popularity was reversed after Britain voted to leave the bloc in June last year.
“Even British voters, who narrowly elected to withdraw from the EU, have markedly improved their views of the Brussels-based institution,” Pew said.
The outcome of the Brexit talks are uncertain and the UK’s trading and border status with the EU when it leaves in 2019 unknown. The political turmoil in the UK has not deterred Prime Minister Theresa May, who intends to lead Britain into talks with EU figures next week, while back home she tries to arrange a minority government deal with Northern Irish party the DUP.
The UK government’s Brexit Secretary David Davis and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, agreed on Thursday that official divorce talks will begin Monday, June 19.
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