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SPD urges Germany to offer British expats citizenship

July 3, 2016

SPD member Sigmar Gabriel has said Britons living in Germany should get EU citizenship. His words come amid growing uncertainty in the wake of Britain's decision to leave the EU.

Symbolbild Staatsbürgerschaft für junge Briten
Image: picture alliance/Ik Aldama

Gabriel, Germany's economy minister and also its vice-chancellor, said on Saturday that the country should give citizenship to those Britons and not "pull up the drawbridge."

Britain last week voted 52 to 48 percent to leave the EU, with the majority of people under the age of 44 voting to remain. For that reason, Gabriel stressed that Germany should give young Britons the chance to have EU citizenship.

Let's offer it to the young Brits who live in Germany, Italy or France so that they can remain EU citizens in this country," he said during a conference for the Social Democrats (SPD) in Berlin.

The Greens party has also suggested that Britons living in the country should be able to easily apply for German citizenship.

Gabriel also touted Europe as "the best place in the world for freedom, democracy and the chance of social progress."

Brexit and Britons in Mallorca

blc/bw (Reuters, AP)