Posted on Jul 2, 2016

    EU Countries Have Seen A Surge In Citizenship Queries From Brits Since The Brexit Vote

    Embassies contacted by BuzzFeed News say they've had up to 10 times the usual numbers of queries about citizenship.

    Justin Tallis / AFP / Getty Images

    Embassies of EU countries have been receiving a flurry of queries about citizenship from Brits in the wake of the UK's vote to leave the EU, BuzzFeed News has learned.

    Every embassy that responded to BuzzFeed News said they had seen a large surge in their usual volume of queries following the vote, either from British citizens exploring whether they could get a passport from an EU nation, or from people eligible for dual citizenship wanting to explore that route.

    The surge reflects concern about whether Brits will retain the right to live and work in Europe following Brexit.

    Despite assurances during the campaign, the prime minister and the Home Office both admitted this week that were was no guarantee existing EU citizens would keep the right to live and work in the UK – largely so this could be used as leverage during negotiation talks – and, by corollary, this means there would be no automatic right for Brits to live and work in the EU.

    No change would occur until Britain left the EU, which is not likely to happen for several years.

    Here's what the different countries' embassies said.

    The Netherlands

    Robin Van Lonkhuijsen / AFP / Getty Images

    "Since the EU referendum result on Friday, we have received around 200-250 inquiries by email about nationality," an embassy spokeswoman told BuzzFeed News.

    "That includes both British citizens inquiring about applying for Dutch nationality, and Dutch citizens resident in the UK inquiring about British nationality.

    "This is around 10 times the number we would receive in an ordinary week."


    Stuart Franklin / Getty Images

    "I am not able to disclose exact figures," a spokesman said. "But can confirm that, in the wake of the EU referendum, we did indeed see a noticeable increase in inquiries from both British and Danish citizens, especially about the procedures for dual nationality."

    However, speaking on Thursday, the spokesman added: "The amount of inquiries, however, is now starting to ease off."


    Alberto Pizzoli / AFP / Getty Images

    The UK's nearest neighbour was one of the earliest countries to get a noticeable surge of interest in citizenship requests, with people tweeting that citizenship forms were running out in their post offices, such was the demand.

    So here's where we're at. This is the central post office in Belfast #brexit #EURefResults


    Sudbury Post Office has ran out of Irish Passport application forms.

    However, an embassy spokeswoman contacted by BuzzFeed News was keen to play down reports of a huge flood of applications, though did confirm they had seen much higher levels of interest than normal.

    "There has been an increase in queries in respect of entitlements to Irish passports since the result," she said. "However, reports of queues outside the passport offices are incorrect and the passport offices in Dublin and Cork are operating as normal.

    "Figures for applications in June will be released at the end of the month."

    She was also keen to tamp down some earlier reporting on Irish passport applications. She said reports the country had taken on 200 extra staff to deal with expected extra applications were inaccurate, and said Ireland often took on extra staff to deal with a usual summer rush of passport applications.

    Elsewhere, it was reported Ireland was expecting up to 1 million extra citizenship applications as a result of Brexit.

    "I would say the following to that – that this is speculative to say the least and not based on any factual information," she told BuzzFeed News.


    Bertrand Guay / AFP / Getty Images

    "Indeed we did see a trend of British citizens inquiring about the Italian citizenship," the embassy's spokesman told BuzzFeed News.

    "Our two missions in the UK (London and Edinburgh) have registered approximately 60 requests in three working days."


    Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images

    In the days following the Brexit vote, Sweden was among the first countries to report extra interest from Brits. The country's foreign ministry told AP they'd seen about six times the usual volume of inquiries, but warned it was too early to tell if this was a lasting trend.

    Annette Grafen Silander, a spokeswoman for the country's migration agency, said the country had seen 129 applications after the referendum vote, compared with the 20 or so they'd expect in a usual week.


    Adam Berry / Getty Images

    A spokesman for the German embassy in London told BuzzFeed News he wouldn't have any concrete figures on applications until they were compiled in either a monthly or quarterly release, but did say he'd seen an uptick in interest.

    "We get the feeling in the last few days we've had more people asking for information [on citizenship]," he said.

    He directed anyone interested in German citizenship to check the embassy's website before calling.

    James Ball is a special correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London. PGP: <a href=";search=0x05A89521181EE8F1" target="_blank">here</a>

    Contact James Ball at

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