Stanley Johnson, the father of the pro-Brexit UK prime minister, says he'll apply for French citizenship in the wake of Britain's exit from the European Union.
The father of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday said he would apply to become a French citizen, despite being in favor of Britain leaving the 27-member bloc.
Stanley Johnson, who voted to remain in the EU in the 2016 Brexit referendum but has since changed his mind, told the French radio station RTL that he was "already French" and claiming what was rightfully his.
Johnson told the station his grandmother was French and his mother was born in France.
"I will always be European, that's for sure, said Johnson. "You can't say to the English 'you are not European.' Having a link with the European Union is important."
The 80-year-old previously worked as a member of the European Parliament. However, in an interview with The Times newspaper last December, Johnson said he had changed his mind since the referendum result and was now in favor of leaving.
UK lawmakers on Wednesday approved a post-Brexit trade deal as the EU-UK transition period comes to an end on January 1. When Britain leaves the EU's Single Market and Customs Union at midnight CET (2300 UTC/GMT) on Thursday, Britons will lose the automatic right to live and work in the bloc.
During the Conservative party conference in October 2019, Boris Johnson told the crowd his mother Charlotte Johnson Wahl had also voted to leave the EU.
Stanley, who divorced Johnson Wahl in 1979, was seen on camera turning to Boris Johnson's partner, Carrie Symonds, and saying: "I didn't know that."
In October, he apologized after photographers snapped him shopping without a face covering, despite Britain's coronavirus restrictions. Stanley Johnson also faced criticism in October after he traveled to Greece, despite government advice for British nationals to avoid all but essential international travel.
rc/aw (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)