British PM Boris Johnson`s father seeks French citizenship02 January 2021
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's father Stanley Johnson confirmed plans on Thursday (Dec 31) to seek French citizenship as the free movement of Britons in the EU comes to an end under the Brexit pact delivered by his son, reports AFP from Paris.
Speaking to France's RTL radio in French, Stanley Johnson said: "It's not a question of becoming French. If I understand correctly, I am French! My mother was born in France, her mother was completely French as was her grandfather.
"For me, it's a question of obtaining what I already have and I am very happy about that," the 80-year-old added.
The father of the politician who ended Britain's 47-year-old membership of the EU was among the first civil servants appointed to Brussels after Britain joined the EU in 1973.
He worked for the European Commission and served as a member of the European Parliament.
He initially campaigned against leaving the EU before changing his mind a year after Britain voted to leave the union in 2016.
"I will always be European, that's for sure," he told RTL.
"You can't tell the English: you're not European. Europe is more than the single market, it's more than the European Union."
"That said, to have a link like that with the EU is important," he said, apparently referring to an EU passport.
Johnson senior's announcement was not well received in some quarters of British society.
The number of British nationals seeking French citizenship has exploded since Britain's 2016 referendum vote to leave the EU.
In 2016, the number was 439. The following year it rose to 1,605.
In 2019, the number of Brits obtaining French nationality rose to 3,827.