As a significant number of young people voted to stay, the German vice chancellor wants to give young British citizens a viable option
German politicians have suggested offering dual citizenship to young British citizens living in Germany in the wake of the Brexit vote.
Sigmar Gabriel, who is the German vice chancellor and economy minister, promised to bring up the issue during the country’s elections next year, reports the Guardian. He put it down to a significant margin of people (75 per cent) between the ages of 18-24 voting to remain within the EU.
Speaking at a Social Democratic party meeting in Berlin at the weekend, Gabriel said: “Let’s offer it to the young Britons living in Germany, Italy or France so that they can remain EU citizens.” At present, dual citizenship in Germany cannot be given to non-EU residents.
He continued: “It’s a good sign that the youth of Great Britain are more clever than their bizarre political elite. For that reason, we can’t raise our drawbridge on them. We have to think now about what we can offer Great Britain’s younger generation.”
Representatives from the country's Green party have also recently discussed ways for British citizens currently living in Germany to obtain German passports.
Welt am Sonntag, a local publication, reported that, already, “quite a number of Brits” were in the process of applying for citizenship.
The recent EU referendum results have also seen a huge surge in applications for Irish passports among eligible British citizens.
Conservative MP and potential leader candidate Theresa May recently spoke about the position of British citizens living across Europe. She said: “We will need to look at this question of people who are here in the UK from the EU and I want to ensure that we’re able to not just guarantee a position for those people but guarantee the position for British citizens who are over in other member states, in other countries in Europe, and living there. Nobody necessarily stays anywhere for ever.”
Former shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper spoke of the “great anxiety” currently faced by British citizens living abroad, as well as the European citizens living in the UK right now. As the British government poises itself to enter post-Brexit talks, she said immigration rules for “both sides” should “not be affected”.