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Germany to Simplify Naturalization for Britons

Since a majority of British voters supported leaving the European Union in the Brexit Referendum on June 23rd, 2016, more and more Britons living in Germany want to become Germans. The Berlin government now wants to help them, by simplifying the naturalization process.

A draft law with this purpose is being prepared at the German Foreign Ministry, according to German language media reports. The so-called Brexit Provisional Law is supposed to cover the period from the implementation of Brexit, on March 29th, 2019, until the end of 2020.

The draft law will reportedly say that Britons, who apply for German passports during an interim period will not have to get rid of their British citizenship, meaning they will be allowed to have dual citizenship.

One of the problems Germany’s economy is facing is connected to the question what the country should do with Britons who live here, the government believes. Chancellor Angela Merkel recently said, there were regions in Germany in which there was full employment already. A shortage of skilled manpower was the biggest issue the economy was confronted with.

To Merkel, the need to find skilled workers is “very dominant”. Therefore, her government intends to get a ‘skilled workers immigration law’ through the Bundestag this fall. That way the country could have a total 45 million employees for the first time ever, according to the Chancellor.

Indeed, Germany’s economy is growing as if there were no tomorrow, for the ninth consecutive year. It survived several crises, including the one in 2008, with a few bruises only.

By helping Britons who want to stay in Germany after the U.K. leaves the E.U., Germany is helping itself too, since many Britons are skilled workers the German economy needs.

It is not a big surprise that the number of British citizens who applied for the German citizenship has skyrocketed in the past two years. Until 2015, a few hundred applications per year were approved. In 2016, there were almost 3,000. In 2017, some 7,500 Britons became Germans.

Other members of the European Union also want to find ways to accommodate expatriates from the United Kingdom. From Portugal to Bulgaria, Britons are spread all over the place. Some 300,000 of them live in Spain, 150,000 in France, and almost 100,000 in Germany. On top of that, 200,000 Britons live in other E.U. countries.

Brexit negotiations with the European Union started in June of 2017 and are supposed to be completed with an agreement in October.