Brexit prompts record number of Brits to apply for German citizenship

'The link to Brexit seems clear, ' said Ostatistics.

Almost 2,900 British citizens were naturalized in Germany in 2016, a hefty 361% rise on the year before.

The figure is expected to be even higher for 2017 as most Britons didn't apply until after the June referendum and the majority of applications take between six months and a year to process.

The office said that many were concerned that the vote will make it more hard for them to live and work in the European Union in future.

A total of 110,400 foreigners took up German citizenship last year, a 2.9% rise on the previous year, with the biggest rate of increase among Britons.

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Britain is due to leave the European Union in 2019.

At 16,290, Turkish citizens remained the largest group seeking a Germany passport, although applications dropped by almost 17 percent. Another 6,632 Poles became Germans in 2016, an increase of 11.3%.

There is a particular urgency in Germany's case, which is down to the country's strict rules on dual citizenship.

Among nationals of Europe's biggest economies, only Italians - 3,597 of them - surpassed Britons in pursuing German citizenship, according to the latest statistics. That uncertainty over the future status of British nationals living and working in other European Union countries has been increased by Theresa May's election debacle that cost her party its majority and left her weakened just days before Brexit talks are due to begin.

  • Sonia Alvarado