London’s German embassy has experienced a rush of British Jews applying for citizenship in the wake of Brexit.
Around 100 applications have been received since the vote to leave the European Union under a previously little used law that enables those stripped of their citizenship and their descendants by the Nazis to apply for citizenship. That compared to around 20 applications annually in previous years.
More than 400 requests for information about applying for citizenship have also been lodged. With 70,000 Jews from Germany and other parts of occupied Europe having fled to the UK, it is assumed much of the interest comes from members of the Jewish community.
Michael Newman, chief executive of the Association for Jewish Refugees, said there was no suggestion that large numbers were planning on move. Rather, amid uncertainty over what the terms of Brexit could mean, some may just want to keep their options open. “Second and third generations may use it to work in Germany,” he added.
“There’s definitely a feeling some members want to have an option and I understand it’s a relatively simple process,” he said. “Whether they’ll actually apply remains to be seen. The terrible events experienced by some of the refugees means some feel as if they are always looking over their shoulder.” He said the increase in prejudice displayed after the Brexit vote could also be unsettling people and fuelling uncertainty.”