In the wake of Brexit, more British Jews are seeking emigration to EU (European Union). British Jews who immigrated or whose family immigrated from the EU countries to Britain because of persecution have now started filling citizen applications for those countries.
Why Are So Many British Jews Doing This?
Citizens of EU countries enjoy certain privileges like visa free entry into other countries of the block. As the UK plans to leave the EU and faces border issues with Ireland, UK citizens will no longer be able to visit all the EU countries without visa.
To retain the perks that EU members get and maintain a deep connection with their ancestral roots many Jews are applying for EU passports. According to reports, countries like Portugal have seen a 25 % increase in neutralization request over the last year. A majority of those that place a neutralization request are Sephardic Jews looking to retain their ancestral roots intact.
Other British Jews have applied for countries like Germany from where their grandparents or family member’s barely managed to escape. According to media reports since the 2016 referendum, the German embassy in London received more than 3380 application asking for their German citizenship be restored under article 116 of the German constitution.
Many have also turned to Britain’s Association of Jewish Refugees founded in 1941 that help Jewish refugees settle down, to help them get neutralized.
How Will This Decision Impact Their Family Life
While talking to the media a British man of Jewish descent opined that this is a highly personal decision if my parents ever found out that I applied for German citizenship, they would be very upset as they faced persecution.
He continued to comment that having German citizenship will allow me excess to 27 countries and the same will apply for my children which is very beneficial.
Rabbi Julia Neuberger a member of the House of Lords while addressing this issue wrote in an essay that the process doesn’t make me any less British and it just helps me retain a part of my history.
Split Views of Jewish Community Regarding the Neutralization Process
Brexit has sparked a debate amongst the British Jews community many of whom are descendants of persecuted Jews. Some Jews feel that reverting to ancestral citizenship is an insult to the Jewish community as they were mistreated and murdered in the most heinous manner.
While others feel that attaining ancestral citizenship is their attempt to retain their past and hence educate the future generations about their history.