Stanley Johnson confirms the plan to apply for French citizenship as the free movement of Britons in the EU ends under the Brexit pact signed by his son.
The day the UK is to break up with the European Union, the father of the British Prime Minister said he was in the process of applying for a French passport.
Stanley Johnson, Boris Johnson’s father, is a former member of the European Parliament who voted to stay in the bloc in the 2016 UK referendum on the EU.
He told RTL radio that he wanted to become a French citizen because of his close family ties with France.
If his application is accepted, he will become dual national and acquire a passport from an EU member country, which would give him some advantages in terms of travel.
“If I understand correctly, I am French. My mother was born in France, her mother was totally French just like her grandfather. So for me, it’s about getting back what I already have. And that makes me very happy, ”said Johnson, 80, who spoke in French.
“I will always be a European, for sure. You cannot say to the British: you are not European. Having a link with the European Union is important, ”he added.
His son Boris was the public face of the Leave campaign in the 2016 referendum and claims Britain can ‘prosper mightily’ as a fully sovereign nation outside of what he sees as an overly bureaucratic EU.
But on Wednesday, the prime minister issued a more conciliatory note as approved by parliament a new trade deal with the EU, saying: “This is not the end of Britain as a European country. We are in many ways the European civilization par excellence… and we will continue to be.
The UK officially leaves the orbit of the EU on Thursday evening, after an often strained 48-year affair with the European project.
The move will see the British lose the automatic right to live and work in the 27 EU countries, but those with dual nationality will still be able to do so.