- Exclusive: The number of Brits wanting to hand in their passports hit a 13 year high in the year of the Brexit vote.
- 744 applied to renounce their citizenship in 2016.
- Anti-hard Brexit campaigners say the spike should “send a shiver” down Theresa May’s spine.
- Home Office insists there is no link between the spike and Brexit.
LONDON – There was a surge in the number of people giving up their citizenship in the year of the Brexit vote, new figures obtained by Business Insider reveal.
A Freedom Of Information request by the Best for Britain campaign group shows that 741 people applied to hand over their British passports in 2016.
This was a 73% increase on 2015 and the highest number of renunciation requests since 2003, following the beginning of the Iraq war.
These figures follow data published by The Guardian this week which revealed that the number of Brits who have applied for French citizenship has increased tenfold over the last three years.
1,363 Brits applied for French citizenship in 2016. This was more than a 250% increase on the number of Brits who did so in 2015.
Tim Farron, former Lib Dem leader and champion of anti-hard Brexit group Best For Britain, said the new figures ought to “send a shiver down the spine” of Theresa May’s government.
“People giving up our passport, be it maroon, black, or blue, is someone handing back part of themselves,” Farron told Business Insider.
He added: “People want Britain to be open, tolerant and united and Brexit is ripping that all apart.”
The Home Office said the spike should not be attributed to Britain’s vote to leave the EU.
A spokesperson said: “Given the yearly variation, it is not possible to draw meaningful conclusions from the figures of those giving up their British Citizenship.
“There are a number of reasons why someone may seek to renounce British Citizenship, such as becoming a national of a country that does not allow dual citizenship.”