The number of people who have decided to give up their UK citizenship has increased since the country decided to leave the EU, data obtained by the Independent has shown.
Figures have shown that the number of those renouncing UK citizenship increased by 30 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020 and six times more than a decade ago, when only about 140 decided to take such a decision following Brexit, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The Independent reveals that a total number of 868 people decided to give up their British passports in 2021. As for the 2011-2021 period, the same noted that a total of 6,507 people applied to hand over their citizenship.
Commenting on the figures, the head of the immigration department at OTS Solicitors, Maryem Ahmed, said that there is no specific reason why people decide to give up their UK citizenship, and the same indicated that the reason depends on the preference as well as the circumstances of everyone.
Still, it was mentioned that one of the main reasons is when someone wishes to take up another country’s citizenship that does not permit dual nationality.
The Independent notes that despite dual nationality restrictions being a long-term issue, Brexit has led to complications also for nationals of the UK that legally reside in the EU. This is because the majority of the EU Member States require foreigners only to hold the citizenship of one country.
Experts note that most of the EU countries issue residency permits for UK passport holders. Nonetheless, the residency permit does not allow them to enjoy full rights, such as voting, and for this reason, some choose to give up their UK passport.
Moreover, those who wish to be more competitive in the EU labour market oftentimes make the choice to give up their UK citizenship as the EU passport gives them more freedom in doing so.
“People want full citizenship rights in the countries that they live in, they may have to take the citizenship of that country and have to renounce their British citizenship,” professor Michaela Benson, who is a citizenship expert at Lancaster University stressed.
Apart from the UK nationals living abroad deciding to give up their citizenship, SchengenVisaInfo.com previously reported that the number of EU citizens in the UK also dropped significantly after Brexit.
The Office for National Statistics said earlier in August that only around 43,000 EU citizens applied for work, family, or study visas in 2021, representing a sharp decrease compared to the pre-Brexit times when up to 430,000 EU citizens reached the UK. Moreover, the same highlighted that only around five per cent of visas issued to citizens of the EU in 2021 were related to migration.