Number of Britons who move to EU at highest level in a decade

The number of Britons relocating to EU countries is at a 10-year high.

Number of Britons who move to EU at highest level in a decade
People protest against Brexit in Malaga, Spain on September 22nd. Photo: AFP

A new study has revealed the increasing number of Britons making use of their freedom to live and work in other EU countries.

The number has increased markedly and the rate of departure accelerated since the 2016 Brexit referendum, according to the report.

Up to 84,000 people are expected to leave the United Kingdom and move to EU countries this year, according to the analysis, which was conducted by the Oxford in Berlin group and the Berlin Social Science Centre (WZB).

The figure demonstrates a drastic increase when compared with the 59,000 who made the same move in 2008.

Migration researcher and co-author of the study Dr Daniel Auer said: “These dramatic jumps tell us we’re onto a significant social phenomenon here whose implications are yet to be understood.”

The study also looked specifically at relocations from the UK to Germany. A similar trend was observed here, with 11,500 people making that move in 2018, compared to 8,500 in 2008.

Citizenship and nationalization figures also follow the same trend. While 622 Britons received German citizenship in 2015, 7,493 were naturalized in 2017, the report states. For the EU as a whole, naturalizations rose from 2,106 in 2015 to 14,678 in 2017.

Daniel Tetlow, one of the researchers behind the study, said that researchers also conducted interviews with people who had moved from the UK to the EU, in an effort to understand the trend.

Changes to the way people see their British identity are part of the explanation, Tetlow told The Guardian newspaper.

“One of the things I find most striking is this new British-European identity that many refer to,” he said.

“And no, it’s not just the privileged metro middle classes; I’ve met proud British mechanics, ex-British forces, British ambulance drivers, British teachers and unemployed Brits, and because of Brexit almost all of them feel a new motivation in being active Europeans, and no less British as a result,” the researcher added.

The analysis is based on figures from the OECD and national statistics offices in the relevant countries.

Quantitative parts of the study looked at British nationals who left the country between 2008 and 2019.

As many as 30 percent of this group said that Brexit had affected their mental health, and half said that they would consider giving up their British nationality if necessary to be able to keep their EU nationality.

The deadline for Brexit is currently October 31st, with an EU decision outstanding on the length of an extension to be offered to the UK.

READ ALSO: EU27 fail to agree length of Brexit extension

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Do children born in Denmark automatically get Danish citizenship?

A Danish passport comes with many benefits, and the country allows dual citizenship. But what are the rules for the children of foreign nationals born in Denmark?

Do children born in Denmark automatically get Danish citizenship?

Denmark allows dual citizenship, meaning it is possible for foreign residents to gain Danish citizenship without giving up their old citizenship, if their country of origin also permits dual citizenship. There are a few benefits that only Danish citizens have, such as an absolute right to live and work in the country and the right to vote in Danish parliamentary elections.

Some jobs are only open to Danish citizens as well: you must be a Danish citizen if you wish to be elected to parliament or join the police.

In addition to this, Danish nationals hold EU citizenship, which gives them the right to free movement in EU member states, making it easier for them to live and work in other parts of the bloc.

Danish at birth

Unlike in other countries such as the United States, people born in Denmark do not automatically gain Danish citizenship.

Danish citizenship is granted at birth to children who have at least one Danish parent, regardless of whether the child is born in Denmark or not. For children born before July 1st 2014, this depends on the law in force when the child was born and other requirements may need to be fulfilled.


Dual citizenship

On the September 1st 2015, a new Nationality Act meant foreign residents could gain Danish citizenship without giving up their old citizenship.

It also meant that former Danish citizens who lost their Danish nationality by acquiring a foreign nationality could become Danish citizens again by making a declaration to the Ministry of Immigration and Integration. The new timetable to make this declaration is between July 1st 2021 and June 30th 2026.

Children born abroad: The 22-Year Rule 

Children born abroad to a Danish parent but who have never lived in Denmark, or visited for a lengthy period of time (adding up to at least a year which has to be documented) lose their Danish citizenship at the age of 22, unless it means the person becomes stateless.

Danish children born abroad must therefore apply to retain their Danish citizenship before the age of 22. If they are still living abroad at the time, their connection to Denmark will be assessed. This takes into account the number of visits to Denmark and level of Danish.

The Princess Rule

Children born in marriage to a Danish mother and a father of foreign nationality during the period of January 1st 1961 to  December 31st 1978 did not obtain Danish nationality by birth. As an alternative, Danish mothers had the option to make a declaration by which their child obtained Danish nationality.

Children born during this period whose mother did not make a declaration to this effect may apply for Danish nationality by naturalisation according to the “Princess Rule”.

Does a child born to foreigners need a residence permit?

If you are a child born in Denmark by foreign national parents, you need to apply for a residence permit.

The requirements for qualifying for a residence permit are more relaxed than for children born abroad. The child needs to either be registered as a family member to an EU citizen if under the age of 21, or registered under family reunification if the parents are not EU citizens.

The child’s residence permit will expire when the parent’s residence permit expires and can also be extended with the parent’s permit. It may also be possible for the child to obtain a permanent residence permit aged 18 by meeting more lenient requirements.

READ ALSO: What’s the difference between temporary and permanent residency in Denmark?

When can my child gain Danish citizenship?

If your child is born in Denmark but neither parent is Danish, they have to wait until one parent is granted citizenship.

Danish requirements for citizenship are some of the toughest in the world and you must meet a number of closely-defined criteria in order to be eligible for citizenship by naturalisation.

The wish to include a child in the application has to be stated and they must be under the age of 18, have Danish residency, not have committed any crime and be unmarried. No fee is payable for minors. Children aged 12 or over must give their consent to becoming Danish.

READ ALSO: How to apply for citizenship in Denmark