Wednesday, 29 March 2017
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Expats seek dual-citizenship as referendum insurance

Dual-Citizenship considered by many in EU Dual-Citizenship considered by many in EU Baloncici/Shutterstock

WITH the announcement that Britain would hold a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017, a large number of people are considering whether they should try to obtain dual EU citizenship.
Prior to UK membership of the EU, there was little in the way of travel restrictions between the main European Countries and there was a great deal of worker movement around Europe although it was not as great as it is now. At the end of the day, the vote itself is unpredictable but even if the majority vote to leave the EU, it will take years, possibly decades to implement and various trade and personal safeguards will have to be negotiated between governments.
Despite this, EU passport holders resident in Britain and conversely, British passport holders resident in EU member states are seriously considering whether they wish to go to the trouble and expense of obtaining dual-citizenship to safeguard their current rights.
The UK which only recognised dual-citizenship in 1948, charges £3,700 as well as imposing a test on ´Britishness´ to obtain a British passport. There appears to be no common ground within the EU as those from Austria, Estonia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Poland are not officially allowed to keep their passports if they decide to adopt a new country.
There is a certain irony in the fact that the well over one million non UK but EU passport holders living in Britain may not be allowed to vote in the referendum unless they become British Citizens!
Time will tell how the Brexit (British Exit) vote will affect people but the citizens of Norway and Switzerland don´t seem to run into too many problems even though they are not members of the EU.

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