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Denmark sees surge in number of Britons applying for Danish citizenship

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Denmark sees surge in number of Britons applying for Danish citizenship
Then-immigration minister Inger Støjberg shakes hands with a newly-nationalized Dane at a citizenship ceremony earlier this year. Photo: Liselotte Sabroe/Ritzau Scanpix
12:31 CET+01:00
The number of British citizens applying for Danish nationalisation has seen a huge rise during the last two years.

Figures from parliament, which must vote through all applications for citizenship under Danish law, clearly signal a huge surge in Britons applying after the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Since 2017, the number of Brits approved as Danish citizens under the citizenship law has rocketed from 134 to 489, figures provided by Denmark's immigration ministry show.


Source: Ministry of Immigration and Integration

“There has been a large increase in the number of British citizens applying for Danish citizenship. I think the increase is because of Brexit,” Minister for Immigration and Integration Mattias Tesfaye said in a ministry press release.

“I am naturally pleased to have the future Danish citizens, but I would like to use this opportunity to stress that (Danish) legislation for the event of a no-deal Brexit is in place,” the minister said.

“As such, the approximately 18,500 British citizens can continue with their lives in Denmark regardless of whether they have applied for Danish citizenship,” he continued.

Tesfaye’s comments refer to legislation adopted under the previous government which provides for extension of the vast majority of rules applying to Brits living in Denmark via EU free movement, should a no-deal Brexit occur.

READ ALSO: Denmark's no-deal Brexit provisions: What British residents need to know

Brexit under a withdrawal agreement such as the one recently reached between British prime minister Boris Johnson and the EU would likely also provide for continuation of residence in EU countries.

READ ALSO: REMINDER: What the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement means for British citizens in Denmark

Johnson’s agreement was not passed by the parliament in London however, with a general election now scheduled for December 12th. An extension to the deadline for Brexit to occur has been accepted by the EU and is now set at January 31st 2020.

READ ALSO: The 'Brexit election': How Britons in Denmark can register for a proxy or postal vote

The striking figures for British citizenship applications in Denmark may not purely be a result of the Brexit referendum and uncertainty for Britons living in Denmark, and the EU in general.

In 2015 – before the UK’s Brexit referendum – Denmark changed its citizenship laws to allow dual nationality.

That is likely to have prompted Brits who had previously held off on applying for nationalization to take that step, with the drawback of having to give up their UK passports now removed.

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