Sharp rise in Britons seeking German passports as Brexit looms

EU raises pressure on UK, demands clarity ahead of Brexit talks

More Britons than ever before became German citizens previous year after Britain's vote to leave Europe. Of the total 110,383 people naturalized in 2016, as many as 2,865 came from the United Kingdom (2.6 percent of the total number).

Germany's Federal Statistical Office said 2,865 Britons became German citizens in 2016.

"A connection with Brexit is obvious", the statistic office said, noting it was the highest ever recorded number for British citizens.

The figure is expected to be even higher for 2017 as most Britons didn't apply until after the June referendum and the majority of applications take between six months and a year to process.




Britons were, however, still a relatively small group.

At 16,290, Turkish citizens remained the largest group seeking a Germany passport, although applications dropped by almost 17 percent. Brits who apply for German citizenship while the United Kingdom is still in the European Union can keep both of their passports, but those who wait until after Brexit may not be able to do the same.

The average new German citizen is 33 years old and has been living in Germany for 17 years.

The second largest national group, Poles, recorded an increase of 11.3 per cent to reach 6,632. The sudden surge stems from a sobering reality for Brits who live elsewhere in Europe, or would like to someday: EU citizens can live and work anywhere within the union, and it isn't clear whether Brits will maintain this status in the future.

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