David Frost sent a pretty bleak message to young people in Britain who have had their freedom of movement rights stripped since Brexit.
Britain’s former chief negotiator, who resigned in 2019 over ‘disillusionment’ with the ‘direction’ of Tory policy, came up short when asked by Emily Maitlis about the prospects of young Brits, many of whom didn’t have a say in the UK’s future in the European Union.
He said Brits made a “political decision” when they voted to end freedom of movement.
But the comments are unlikely to inspire many facing the reality of more stringent checks.
New figures have shown that the number of people handing over their British passport has soared since Brexit.
A Freedom Of Information request submitted by the Independent shows that 868 people applied to hand over their British passports in 2021.
This was a 30 per cent rise on 2020 numbers and six times what it was a decade ago – when only around 140 people per year did so.
Overall 6,507 people have applied to renounce their UK citizenship between 2011 and 2021.
One of the main drivers for a person giving up their passport is likely to be when they apply to take up citizenship in another which restricts or bans dual nationality.
In countries such as Spain or the Netherlands, dual-UK nationality is not allowed in most cases.
And since the end of 2020, similar restrictions have come into effect for those seeking German citizenship.
Professor Michaela Benson, a citizenship expert at Lancaster University, says British nationals living in those countries can face a tough choice.
This is especially the case for people of working age “who want to make themselves competitive in the European labour market”, she said. Having an EU passport and the freedom of movement rights that it entails is essential.
“What this means is that if 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.”
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