3,454 Britons have obtained Belgian citizenship since the Brexit referendum

Since voters in the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum held in June 2016 3,454 British nationals living in Belgium have obtained Belgian citizenship. The figures on the number of Britons that have obtained Belgian citizenship since the Brexit vote come from the Federal Bureau of Statistics Statbel. They appear in articles published in Wednesday’s edition of the dailies ‘De Tijd’ and ‘L’Echo’. 

The figures cover the period up to and including 31 May this year. The number of British nationals obtaining Belgian citizenships has risen sharply since the beginning of the year. During the first five months of 2019 an average of 119 Britons/month obtained Belgian citizenship. This compares with 82 per month last year.

The increase is even more spectacular when compared with the figure for June 2016, the month in which the Brexit referendum took place. Then just 22 British nationals were granted Belgian citizenship.

A large portion (more than 2,000) of the Britons that have obtained Belgian citizenship over the past three years work for the European institutions. Of these 1,200 work for the European Commission. A number of British journalists resident in Belgium have also obtained Belgian citizenship in the three years since the Brexit vote. 

It is expected that by 31 October, the day of a possible hard Brexit, the number of Britons to obtain Belgian citizenship will have climbed to 4,000.