Germany’s economy minister and vice-chancellor, Sigmar Gabriel, has said Brits living in Germany should get EU citizenship.
Gabriel said on Saturday that the country should give citizenship to Brits already residing in Germany and not “pull up the drawbridge”.
Despite Britain voting to leave the EU by a margin of 52 per cent to 48 per cent, the majority of people under the age of 44 voted to remain. For that reason, Gabriel stressed that Germany should give young Brits the chance to have EU citizenship.
“Let’s offer it to the young Brits who live in Germany, Italy or France so that they can remain EU citizens in this country,” he said during a conference for the Social Democrats in Berlin.
The Greens party has also suggested that Brits living in the country should be able to easily apply for German citizenship.
Gabriel’s words come amid growing uncertainty in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the EU.
Theresa May, the favourite to replace David Cameron as leader of the Conservative Party, and therefore Prime Minister of the UK, warned yesterday that the rights of EU citizens living in Britain to remain will have to be “negotiated” as part of Brexit – as will those for expats overseas.
“At the moment we are still a member of the EU and the arrangements still continue, so there is no change to their position currently,” said May. “But, of course, as part of the negotiations we will need to look at this question of people who are here in the UK from the EU.”
She continued: “I want to ensure that we are able to not just guarantee a position for those people, but guarantee a position for British citizens who are over in other member states, in other countries in Europe, and living there.
“What’s important is there will be a negotiation here as to how we deal with that issue of people who are already here and who have established a life here and Brits who have established a life in other countries within the European Union.”
She added: “The position at the moment is as it has been, there’s no change at the moment, but of course we have to factor that into negotiations.”
Article By David Fuller