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21

Dual nationality gets a fair bit of media attention lately. In recent news several Moroccan-Dutch citizens asked political support for their right to renounce their Moroccan nationality. At the same time a majority of the House of Representatives proposed a Brexit-emergency law that will allow Dutch citizens in the UK to keep their Dutch nationality in case they obtain the British nationality. How does that work?

Dutch nationality law does, in principle, not allow dual citizenship. Adult Dutch citizens automatically lose their Dutch nationality when they obtain another nationality. Vice-versa, if you have another nationality and obtain Dutch citizenship, you are required to do your utmost to lose that other nationality. Some countries, however, do not allow renunciation of their citizenship. In those cases, the renunciation requirement is dropped and dual citizenship is the result. This is what happens with, for instance, Moroccan or Argentinean nationals who obtain Dutch citizenship.

The proposed Brexit emergency law only offers a solution to those Dutch nationals living in the UK who qualify for British citizenship according to British nationality law. They would be allowed to keep their Dutch citizenship and EU citizen rights after Brexit. Other Dutch citizens in the UK however would need a residence permit to legally stay in the UK.

Apart from whether it is justifiable to except a single nationality from the basic rule of automatic loss of Dutch citizenship after obtaining another nationality, there is still a lot unclear about the emergency law.

For instance:

  • What does this law mean if the UK offers a solution to Dutch citizens to continue their stay in the UK after Brexit?
  • And what will happen if a Brexit deal will be agreed upon after all?

 

For more information on this subject, please contact Hermie de Voer, Vera Kidjan, Elles Besselsen or Mirjam den Besten.

 

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