The latest figures from the Home Office for the year ending June 2021 show this has now almost doubled compared to the previous year, with a total of 74,384 applications made. This comes despite all the doom-mongering from around the EU about Brexit, with this being the highest number of applications from European Union nationals in a 12-month period since comparable records began 17 years ago.
EU nationals made up more than a third (37 percent) of citizenship applications in the latest year-long period, compared with just 12 percent in 2016 – the same year the historic Brexit referendum took place.
The Home Office confirmed Brexit played a large part in this, and said the jump in citizenship applications is likely reflected in more people looking to confirm their status in the UK following the EU referendum and Britain’s subsequent exit from the bloc.
Since March 2019, EU nationals and their family members who are residents in the UK have been able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the country.
Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein nationals and their families have also been able to apply to the scheme.
The latest figures from this scheme show more than six million (6.09m) applications had been received up until July 31, 2021, according to the Home Office.
In total, there were 200,177 applications for British citizenship in 12 months ending June 2021, up by more than a third (35 percent) compared to the same period ending June 2020.
The Home Office said there were there were 147,369 grants of British citizenship in the year – up by four percent from the previous year – predominantly because of the Covid pandemic response.
There were 830,969 visas granted in the most recent year-long period.
Speaking to the Liaison Committee, Mr Jenkin said: “I think I would have liked the chance to ask Chancellor Merkel who wants to stop cultural exchange which is one of the objectives of her visit.
“The answer is the European Commission.
“We would not stop visiting artists coming to our own country but we are losing people from London permanently.
“They are going to take residence in other European countries with European citizenship because they can’t pursue their careers by staying in London.”
But Mr Johnson hit back: “I hope that we’re not and the evidence doesn’t seem to support the view that we’re losing all EU nationals.”
Tory MP interjected: “It’s not about EU nationals, it’s about British citizens taking up EU citizenship in other countries because their career opportunities are so limited to what they were.
“It’s a very serious problem, Prime Minister.”