Germany says fewer Britons became citizens last year

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BERLIN (AP) — German authorities say the number of British nationals receiving German citizenship declined last year after a Brexit-related peak in 2017, but Britons were still the second-biggest group seeking German nationality.

Many British citizens are seeking passports from European Union countries to preserve their right to live and work in the bloc after Brexit. Germany in principle allows only citizens of other EU countries and Switzerland to keep their existing nationality, so there was reason for Britons to hurry after U.K. voters decided in 2016 to leave the bloc.

The Federal Statistical Office said Wednesday that 6,640 Britons received German citizenship last year, down 11.5% from 2017. Turkish nationals made up the biggest group of new Germans, increasing 11.5% to 16,700. Overall, 112,340 people became German citizens, a 0.1% increase.

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