23:56 GMT08 July 2020
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    Since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, some British citizens have opted to retain their rights to free movement and full access to the bloc's labour market by acquiring German passports.

    Over 32,000 Brits have officially become Germans since the UK's vote to leave the European Union in 2016.

    New figures released on Wednesday by Germany's Statistical Office reveal that in 2019 alone 14,600 Brits obtained new German EU passports, compared with just 500 in 2015.

    Britons were not, however, the number one recipient of German passports last year, with Turkish citizens claiming 16,200.

    A further 6,000 applications went to Poles, 5,800 to Romanians, 4,600 to Iraqis. Ukrainian citizens bagged 4,300, Syrians claimed 3,900 and Iranians 3,800.

    The data released follows HSBC and Swiss bank UBS announcing a transfer of around 2,000 jobs from London to Germany. Barclays is also considering routing its business activities through Ireland and Germany. US investment bank Goldman Sachs said it plans to shift up to 1,000 staff to Frankfurt from London.

    Lloyds of London has confirmed plans to set up a European subsidiary in Brussels.

    The move could have a detrimental impact on the UK economy. “It means less taxes, less investment in shops, in supermarkets, less investment into National Insurance, in flats and houses and could mean a hole somewhere in the UK budget", said European affairs reporter Udo Seiwert-Fauti.
    “These highly paid investment bankers have families, children who also want to be fed and housed. That could mean about 3-4,000 people leaving", he added.

    Losing access to the European market was a core argument made by the Remain campaign during the Brexit referendum. While supporters of leaving the bloc argued that demand for UK financial services would ensure that economic relations between the the UK and EU would continue as before.

    The UK formally left the European Union at the end of January but remains in a transition period, where it is subject to EU rules and regulations, until December.

    Related:

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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel ‘Very Firmly’ Inclined to Step Down, Rejects Speculation of 5th Term
    Tags:
    Citizenship, United Kingdom, Germany, Brexit
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