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Friday 22 November 2019

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Parliament to vote next week on Brexit dual nationality proposal

Photo: slamservice.info

A large majority of MPs will vote in favour of new legislation giving Dutch nationals in the UK the right to dual nationality if Britain crashes out of the EU without a deal.

The vote is due to take place next Tuesday, and although opposed by the government, it can count on the backing of three of the four coalition parties. It is still unclear which way the Christian Democrats will vote.

The bill was drawn up by the Liberal democratic party D66 and originally included British nationals in the Netherlands as well. But they were dropped from the proposals because there was not enough support in parliament for extending dual nationality rights to them as well.

The SNBN, which represents the rights of Dutch nationals abroad, has welcomed the new legislation but said it would continue to fight for the right of all Dutch nationals to hold a second passport.

The 3Million organisation, which represents all foreign nationals in the UK, said it was extremely pleased with the support. ‘The debate showed that all parties understand the man in the street is the victim in all of this,’ the organisation told the SNBN.

Specific

Dutch law currently only allow British nationals dual nationality in a few, specific circumstances, such as being married to a Dutch national for a number of years. Dutch nationals who take another nationality, such as British, also lose their Dutch passports.’

‘It is important to note that this law is only a solution for Dutch nationals living in the UK who are eligible for naturalisation under UK law… and is therefore not a solution for all Dutch citizens living in the UK,’ Elles Besselsen of immigration law specialists Everaert Advocaten told slamservice.info.

‘There are still many outstanding questions and uncertainties,’ she said. ‘At the same time, this might be a little step towards allowing dual nationality in the Netherlands although the law proposal clearly states this is a one-time exception based on the very extraordinary and uncertain situation that Brexit is.’

The government had pledged to publish its thoughts on reforming Dutch nationality this spring but has not yet done so.

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