05 July 2020

Double nationality?

Completely out of the blue I saw a post on Facebook. It claimed a law had been proposed that would allow Dutch residents of the UK to get a double nationality in the case of a no deal Brexit. I quickly checked. It was true! And I know that means only conditional things; the law has only been proposed and not yet accepted (and it won't be dealt with for months), and it would only apply for a short time in case of a no-deal crash, but still. If there is a deal, the situation is a lot less uncertain for EU citizens in the UK. And as I'm already aware of it, I can be in the starting blocks were this window to open. As there are only a few months left to strike a deal, the negotiations are at a bit of a standstill, and the entire world seems to be quite absorbed by something entirely different, a no-deal exit is hardly unimaginable.

So do I want a double nationality? Yes please! I put roots down here and I would like to stay here. And then it would be nice to be able to become a citizen. But I'm not ready to give up being Dutch! In a way, the reasons I want to have a British passport are quite similar to the ones I have for wanting to stay Dutch. The Tories have an impressive precedent trying to muscle people out of the country that are not like them. And I know; I am lily-white and non-religious, so I don't carry the 'hate me Tories' tattoos on my forehead, but still. I have a funny accent and am a dreadlocked academic so clearly a leftie and they'd be happier without me. And if I have a passport they can't get rid of me! But at the same time; do I really want to only have a passport of a country like that? This country is broken. And I'm sure it can be mended but I don't know if and when that will happen.

It's very expensive to become British, and it's quite a time investment too, but if we crash out it will probably be worth it! So I'm keeping an eye on the news. And I've already ordered the citizenship test book (but a second-hand specimen). Let's see what sort of trivialities I'll have to know if I go up for the test! And it's a bit dubious (but not unexpected) that this procedure favours those who are good at absorbing information from a book. It works to my advantage, but that doesn't mean it's right! But well, only citizens have the voting power to let their voice be heard about issues like this, so putting up with it may be my best bet to do my incremental bit to improve the situation...

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