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On June 30, 2020, the Dutch Senate agreed with a legislative proposal to introduce temporary amendments to the Dutch Nationality Act in order to expand the possibilities of Dutch citizens in the UK to obtain dual (Dutch/UK) nationality.

The proposal provides that Dutch citizens living in UK will not automatically lose their Dutch nationality if they acquire British nationality after the Brexit. Those who already lost their Dutch nationality as a result of obtaining British citizenship should be able to regain it. In order to qualify for dual citizenship, both groups will have to meet certain conditions relating to, for example, their main residence and the exact moment of loss of nationality.

It was decided that the legislative proposal will only come into effect if the rights of Dutch citizens in the UK will not be sufficiently warranted (according to the Dutch government) after the Brexit. It is, however, not clear when this will be the case.

It is also unclear how the proposal relates to the withdrawal agreement between the EU and the UK that came into force on February 1, 2020. This agreement already covers the rights of EU citizens in the UK in great detail. The proposal therefore seems to serve primarily as a safety-net for when it appears that the rights of Dutch citizens in the UK will deteriorate in the future.

Lastly, there are also concerns about the legal inequality arising from the proposal, as Dutch citizens residing in other countries than the UK would (in most cases) still lose their Dutch citizenship when they obtain the nationality of the host country.

The proposal leaves us with questions and uncertainties. The future will tell whether it will ever be put into practice.

If you have any questions related to this subject, please contact Mirjam den Besten or Hermie de Voer.

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