With the rise of Britain’s EU membership (Brexit), more and more British people are living in France for French citizenship: the number of applications has increased eightfold between 2015 and 2017, the French Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
According to the Ministry, due to Brexit, the number of French citizenship applications submitted by British citizens has increased considerably over three years: between 2015 and 2017, from the previous 386 to 3173.
Over two years, the proportion of Britons for French nationals rose from the previous 0.4 percent to 3.5 percent. Last year, one-third of the applications came from British nationals whose couple are French citizens.
“Applicants in France apply for French citizenship to continue to benefit from the benefits they enjoy as citizens of the EU: free movement in Europe, sometimes employment in the public sector or election mandate,” the Interior Ministry said.
In the first six months of this year, 1370 Britons submitted a French Citizenship Claim, which is 2.6 percent of all applications.
Estimates from the report by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brexit in 2017 show that some 300,000 British citizens live in France, most of whom are retired. In 2014, however, the French statistical office still estimated half the number of British settlers in France, which was one and a half times more than the Germans, but half as the number of Spanish settlers.
Most British live in the southwestern part of the country, 26 percent in the southern counties, and 13 percent in Paris and elsewhere.