Boris Johnson’s father, despite abandoning his Remainer views, is maintaining ties to the EU by obtaining French citizenship.
Former European Parliament member Stanley Johnson has had his application for French nationality approved.
In November of last year, the 81-year-old applied for citizenship at the French consulate in London.
And the French justice ministry’s six-month deadline to oppose to his application has passed.
Mr Johnson was born in Cornwall and has ties to France through his mother, Irene Williams, who is French.
He is fluent in French and has previously stated that acquiring French citizenship is simply a matter of “obtaining what I already have.”
‘Based on the facts in his application, and without a denial by the justice minister, Mr Stanley Johnson received French nationality on the 18th of May, 2022,’ France’s justice ministry confirmed.
‘This decision concerns only Mr Stanley Johnson and not his descendants.’
Mr Johnson is a former MEP as well as a former European Commission employee, having lived in Brussels with his family in the 1970s.
He famously supported Remain prior to the 2016 EU referendum, putting him at odds with his son Boris’s role as the face of the Vote Leave campaign.
Remain was endorsed by Rachel Johnson, the Prime Minister’s sister, and Jo Johnson, the Prime Minister’s younger brother.
However, their father has already reversed his ‘passionate’ Remainer stance, with the senior Mr Johnson recently praising Brexit as ‘probably a good idea’ in a newspaper piece.
Mr Johnson chastised his European counterparts’ “naivety” in dealing with the situation, as well as their “weak policies” against Russian President Vladimir Putin.
French law normally prevents children of its citizens from claiming nationality if their family has been abroad for more than 50 years without making use of their rights.
But their applications can still be considered if they can prove ‘concrete ties of a cultural, professional, economic or family nature’ with France – a clause Mr Johnson invoked in his application.
Around 3,100 British people acquired French nationality in 2020, according to the latest figures available from EU statistics agency Eurostat, making France the second most popular choice for acquiring European citizenship, after Germany.