Germany should offer young Britons EU citizenship after Brexit, says German Vice-Chancellor

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said British people living in Germany should have the right to dual citizenship, as thousands of young people voice their uncertainty in the wake of the Brexit vote

Rachael Pells
Sunday 03 July 2016 12:05
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Mr Gabriel says Germany should offer citizenship to young Britons living in the country
Mr Gabriel says Germany should offer citizenship to young Britons living in the country

Germany should offer citizenship to young Britons living in the country because it was largely older voters who voted to leave the European Union, the German Vice-Chancellor has said.

Speaking at a meeting with the Social Democratic Party in Berlin on Saturday, Sigmar Gabriel, who is also the Economy Minister, said the UK’s referendum was a further reason to campaign to relax the rules on dual citizenship in Germany.

“Let us offer it to young Britons who live in Germany, Italy or France, so they can remain European Union citizens in this country,” he said.

Brexit - Some Leave voters are regretting their vote

German law normally requires that anyone applying for citizenship must relinquish their old citizenship. But last month’s EU referendum, which split the UK in terms of area and age range, provides good reason to consider citizenship on a case by case basis, the minister has suggested.

“That’s why we shouldn’t just pull up the drawbridge,” said Mr Gabriel. “Europe is the best place in the world for freedom, democracy and the chance of social progress.”

Volker Bouffier, premier of the German state of Hesse – home to Germany's financial capital Frankfurt – told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that “quite a number of Brits” were currently applying for German citizenship.

Recent opinion polls suggest as many as 67 per cent of voters aged 18-24 said they felt “angry” about the Brexit result, with more than 70 per cent of young people overall having voted to remain in the EU last month.

Thousands of demonstrators took part in a march through central London on Saturday in protest at Britain's vote to leave the EU.

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