All posts by Daniel

British High Court Ruling: EU in UK will not lose their status

Earlier in the  year you may have heard in the news that a decision has been made in the British High Court that EU citizens with pre-settled status will not lose their status if they do not apply for ‘settled status’. The Home Office confirmed that it will not appeal the High Court ruling that found that mandatory re-application is unlawful.

The organisation the3millon played a strong advocacy role in this ruling and the Home Office confirmed that it will not appeal the High Court ruling that found that mandatory re-application is unlawful.

British in Germany e.V. is delighted that the threat of EU citizens losing their rights has been removed from the 2.6 million EU citizens in the UK who currently have pre-settled status. For more on the story and the background to the case go to the 3 million webpage.

This is also good news for British citizens living in the EU countries that have taken a similar “constitutive” approach to Withdrawal Agreement rights.  (‘Constitutive’ meaning the mandatory requirement to re-apply by a deadline for the new status under the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) )


If this ruling by the British High Court had not taken place, there would certainly have been a risk that those EU countries, where re-application is required, might consider themselves justified in taking a similar line to that of the UK. Germany took the declaratory route rather than the constitutive. (‘declaratory’ meaning those who fulfil WA conditions are beneficiaries without a mandatory application – but in practice need to register for a residence card to go about their daily lives), so risks here in Germany are much lower.)

For more background on the story in Germany see:

According to the UK Government, the number of concluded applications to the EU settlement scheme by July 2022 was 6,473,830.  Of those, 51% (3,281,950) were granted settled status and 41% (2,627,770) were granted pre-settled status.

Life Long Voting Rights for all Brits Abroad!


***LAST UPDATE – Since 16th January 2024, all British citizens living outside of the UK can vote. Don’t delay in registering. See here for all the details you’ll need.

** UPDATE The final run of secondary legislation took place in the Lords evening of 12th December and the date of Tuesday 16th January 2024 for that legislation to be active is now locked in.

Nov. 2023 we wrote…

As you may have heard in the news recently, draft secondary legislation to implement the Elections Act 2022 and re-enfranchise around 3 million overseas British electors was ‘laid’ before both UK Houses of Parliament on 23 October and published on 25 October 2023.

The draft statutory legislation (SI) has to go through a scrutiny process before both houses of parliament, but we expect that to be done and the SI to be ‘made or adopted before the end of the year and hopefully come into force by 16 January 2024 (this is the date proposed in the draft secondary legislation) More details on this here.

Very significantly, this will re-enfranchise around 3 million Brits living outside of the UK, many of whom had been dis-enfranchised due to the 15 year rule.

The Electoral Commission is already preparing for the registration of this large number of newly re-enfranchised British voters in their relevant constituencies. British in Europe has already been working on a secondary legislation advocacy project about the implementation of the changes since last year and will partner with the Electoral Commission on its awareness raising campaign. Generally, British in Europe and British in Germany e.V. plan to play an active role in getting word out to Brits across Europe, that they can vote again in the UK.

If you’d be interested in supporting that campaign in any way please get in touch at info(at)

So many extra votes added to the current electorate could have a significant impact on forthcoming national elections and in strengthening the representation of British democracy.

The next UK General Election, the date of which will be decided by the present government, must take place latest by January 2025.

More positive news …….read here about the British High Court that EU citizens with pre-settled status will not lose their status if they do not apply for ‘settled status’. were 306,300 refusals, 133,000 withdrawn or void outcomes and 124,560 invalid outcomes in the same period, representing, combined, 9% of total outcomes.

British in Germany e.V. is run by volunteers all giving their time and their expertise for free. We therefore value your membership for 15 Euros a year, which goes towards expenses incurred in running the organisation. You can join here.

BiG Summer Conference in Braunschweig June 4th 2023

Would you like to attend British in Germany’s Summer Conference?

The BiG Summer Conference and AGM will be held on Sunday 4th June in Braunschweig.  This was something members proposed at the successful BiG Autumn Conference last year in Berlin.

When:   Sunday 4th June
Time: 10am – 6pm

E mail: (Subject: 4th June) 

We welcome newcomers to the organisation, so if you would be interested in getting involved in on a local or national/international level please get in touch by e mail for more information.

This year’s summer conference in Braunschweig, near Hannover, will be a a great opportunity to meet up with Brits from across Germany to dissect, discuss and make decisions on issues that, post Brexit, are continuing to affect our lives in Germany.    All nationalities and partners welcome.

You can attend as a paid up member (15 Euros a year)
which allows you to vote in the AGM, or as an observer and then participant in the rest of the day’s conference.

We can also make suggestions for accommodation in Braunschweig, depending on where you’ll be travelling from.

BiG Membership finally face to face

After the social drought of Covid, British in Germany members finally met face to face on 19th November to discuss the future direction of the organisation post Brexit.   Members from Munich, Leipzig, Braunschweig, Berlin, Hamburg and the UK came together for the day and the consensus was we should do it again soon. 

Members acknowledged that in the 5 years of the organisation’s existence, BiG has shaped and influenced the history of British lives in Germany and that that was something we should publicly acknowledge and celebrate.   

Going forward, key issues such as Dual Citizenship, Life Long UK Voting Rights and Youth Exchange were discussed and proposals made for working groups to be created on such different themes.

Thank you to all members for their contributions, including fantastic florescent blue cake (above) made by Rachel.

If you’d like to learn more about the organisation or become a member, don’t hesitate to sign up here:

Join or donate to British in Germany e.V.

or be in touch at 


How many Brits are living in Germany?

Updated Dec 2022

The German Statistics Authority or Statistisches Bundesamt (website in German and English) have released their latest 2021 figures.

According to these figures, there are 168,000 British citizens registered as living in Germany as of 2021.   

The headline figures are the unprecedented number of British citizens that have been given German citizenship since the Brexit referendum.   Since the Brexit referendum in June 2016 over 40,000 British nationals have been granted German citizenship and in total over 73,000 British citizens in Germany are now dual German/British citizens according to the latest published German statistics.  (available also in English)

In 2019, 14600  Brits were granted German citizenship compared to only 622 naturalisations in 2015, illustrating the huge spike in applications as a direct result of the Brexit referendum. 

The full yearly numbers for British citizens receiving German citizenship make that spike very clear:

2013 - 459
2014 - 515
2015 - 622
2016 - 2865
2017 - 7493
2018 - 6640
2019 - 14600
2020 - 4930  
2021 - 4570

These numbers represent an unprecedented migration phenomenon in British German history as well as a significant shift in social and citizen identity for almost half of all British citizens living in Germany; the implications of which are still being lived out and determined today.

Application for dual citizenship for Brits was only possible until the end of the Withdrawal Agreement period, being December 31, 2020 after which British citizens, as non-EU citizens, had to give up their British citizenship to be granted German citizenship.   The new ruling ‘Ampel’ coalition have promised a reform of dual citizenship status in Germany and this may make for a change in the naturalisation rules in the coming years.

For further reading on the impact of Brexit on UK to EU migration and on British lives in Germany, see the published article ‘Brexit, Uncertainty and Migration Decisions’.  Co-Authored by Dr Daniel Auer & Daniel Tetlow

Below some British and International media reports on the numbers: