Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
The Local · 23 Sep 2016, 13:12
Published: 23 Sep 2016 13:12 GMT+02:00
Updated: 23 Sep 2016 13:12 GMT+02:00
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The proposal, which is set to be debated in the Bundestag (German parliament) on Friday, calls for British citizens "to be naturalized swiftly and easily if they apply for citizenship."
Volker Beck, the Green Party’s spokesman on migration, told The Local that the intention of the proposal was to “give British citizens reassurances over their future security - that they will have a right to stay [after Britain leaves the EU]”.
He added that it was also meant “to send a positive, pro-European statement to Britain.”
Any Brit who is employed in Germany is to be given the chance to apply for German citizenship, regardless of how long they have lived in the country, said Beck.
Brits would be expected to speak German and fulfil the other usual requirements for obtaining German citizenship, but they would be exempt from the normal obligation to have lived in Germany for a minimum of eight years, he explained.
The proposal also calls for British citizens to be given clear assurances that they would be able to keep their British citizenship alongside German citizenship.
German law does not currently set an explicit time period for how long EU citizens must have lived in the country before being allowed to apply for citizenship, but it stipulates that if they are to be offered citizenship without having lived in Germany for eight years, they should be able to show that this would be in the public interest.
"Given the impending exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union, such a case exists for British citizens who live in Germany, because their living situation has been thrown into question in an unexpected way,” the proposal states.
Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said in July that young Brits should be able to gain dual citizenship in Germany.
In June the British public unexpectedly voted in a referendum to leave the EU. The British government is now expected to activate Article 50 of the EU Lisbon accords, thus triggering a two-year negotiating period at the end of which the UK will leave the union.