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BREXIT

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s father seeks French citizenship

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's father Stanley confirmed plans on Thursday to seek French citizenship as the free movement of Britons in the EU comes to an end under the Brexit pact delivered by his son.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's father seeks French citizenship
Image: Isabel Infantes/ AFP

Speaking to France's RTL radio in French, Stanley Johnson said: “It's not a question of becoming French. If I understand correctly I am French! My mother was born in France, her mother was completely French as was her grandfather”.

“For me it's a question of obtaining what I already have and I am very happy about that,” the 80-year-old added.

The father of the politician who ended Britain's 47-year-old membership of the EU was among the first civil servants appointed to Brussels after Britain joined the EU in 1973.

He worked for the European Commission and served as a member of the European Parliament. He initially campaigned against leaving the EU, before changing his mind a year after Britain voted to leave the union in 2016.

“I will always be European, that's for sure,” he told RTL. “You can't tell the English: you're not European. Europe is more than the single market, it's more than the European Union.”

“That said, to have a link like that with the EU is important,” he said, apparently referring to an EU passport.

His plans to seek a French passport had already been revealed by his daughter Rachel in a book published in March.

She wrote that her grandmother was born in Versailles and said that if her father received French citizenship, she too would like to become French.

The UK's tortuous departure from the European Union takes full effect at 2300 GMT when an 11-month transition post-Brexit transition period comes to an end.

Member comments

  1. So once Stanley gets European citizenship, all his offspring, including Boris, will be able to too. Let’s hope he/they get the same rebuff as Nigel Lawson. At least Boris’s siblings are honest Europhiles, unlike their Prime Ministerial brother.

  2. Peter, Boris believes in carrying out the wishes of the electorate, otherwise what’s the point in living under a democracy.

  3. Boris is carrying out the wishes of HALF the electorate. There was no landslide win. It was such a narrow majority, and democracy lost. Majoritarianism is 50%+1 wins, not democracy. Before the results came out Farrage said he would dispute a narrow loss, but he was very happy to build upon his excepionally nsrrow win. BREXIT is not the will of the people, it was the will of half the people.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Amber alert: Travellers to France warned of another busy weekend at UK ports

A week after chaotic scenes and 6-hour queues at the port of Dover, the British motoring organisation the AA has issued an amber traffic warning, and says it expects cross-Channel ports to be very busy once again this weekend as holidaymakers head to France.

Amber alert: Travellers to France warned of another busy weekend at UK ports

The AA issued the amber warning on Thursday for the whole of the UK, the first time that it has issued this type of warning in advance.

Roads across the UK are predicted to be extremely busy due to a combination of holiday getaways, several large sporting events and a rail strike – but the organisation said that it expected traffic to once again be very heavy around the port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel terminal at Folkestone.

Last weekend there was gridlock in southern England and passengers heading to France enduring waits of more than six hours at Dover, and four hours at Folkestone.

The AA said that while it doesn’t expect quite this level of chaos to be repeated, congestion was still expected around Dover and Folkestone.

On Thursday ferry operator DFDS was advising passengers to allow two hours to get through check-in and border controls, while at Folkestone, the Channel Tunnel operators only said there was a “slightly longer than usual” wait for border controls.

In both cases, passengers who miss their booked train or ferry while in the queue will be accommodated on the next available crossing with no extra charge.

Last weekend was the big holiday ‘getaway’ weekend as schools broke up, and a technical fault meant that some of the French border control team were an hour late to work, adding to the chaos. 

But the underlying problems remain – including extra checks needed in the aftermath of Brexit, limited space for French passport control officers at Dover and long lorry queues on the motorway heading to Folkestone.

OPINION UK-France travel crisis will only be solved when the British get real about Brexit

The port of Dover expects 140,000 passengers, 45,000 cars and 18,000 freight vehicles between Thursday and Sunday, and queues were already starting to build on Thursday morning.

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