Boris Johnson’s father applying for French citizenship as UK leaves EU orbit

Stanley Johnson wants to keep ties with Europe after Brexit

FILE PHOTO: Stanley Johnson, father of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is seen in Westminster, in London, Britain September 24, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls/File Photo
Powered by automated translation

The father of UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is applying for French citizenship to keep ties with the European Union after Brexit.

Stanley Johnson, a former member of the European Parliament who voted to remain in the 2016 referendum, said he wanted to become a citizen of France and could do so because his mother was born there.

The UK left the EU on Thursday after 48 years.

British citizens lost the right to freedom of movement in the EU and citizens of the bloc's member states must apply to live in the UK.

Speaking in French, Mr Johnson said having a French passport was important for him.

“If I understand it correctly, I am French. My mother was born in France; her mother was totally French, as was her grandfather. So, for me, it is about reclaiming what I already have. And that makes me very happy,” Mr Johnson, 80, told French radio station RTL.

“I will always be a European, that’s for sure. One cannot tell the British people: you are not Europeans. Having a tie with the European Union is important.”

Boris Johnson was the face of the Vote Leave campaign in 2016 before becoming prime minister in 2019.

On Wednesday, he said the trade deal brokered between the two sides heralded “a new relationship between Britain and the EU as sovereign equals”.

“This is not the end of Britain as a European country. We are in many ways the quintessential European civilisation ... and we will continue to be that,” he said.