Sharp rise in Maltese citizenship applications by UK nationals after Brexit referendum

There were more than double the number of Maltese citizenship applications from British citizens in 2018 compared to 2016

The number of applications for Maltese citizenship by British nationals has risen significantly since 2016
The number of applications for Maltese citizenship by British nationals has risen significantly since 2016

The number of application for Maltese citizenship by British citizens has seen a sharp rise since the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in 2016.

Statistics tabled in Parliament on Wednesday by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat showed that while the number of applications by UK nationals for Maltese citizenship stood at 387 in 2016, this rose to 621 in 2017 and 814 in 2018. In 2019, there have to date been 263 such applications.

This denotes and increase of 60% and 110% in 2017 and 2018 respectively over 2016. From 2017 to 2018, there was a 31% increase.

In terms of applications which went through successfully, 177 British nationals were granted Maltese citizenship in 2016, but this rose to 334 in 2017 and 898 in 2018. The figure for 2019 currently stands at 175. Those who were granted citizenship in a particular year would not necessarily have submitted their application that same year.

Twelve applications were refused in 2016, 24 each in 2017 and 2018, and 30 in 2019 to date.

The information was requested in a parliamentary question from Nationalist Party MP Karol Aquilina.

The United Kingdom held its Brexit referendum on 23 June 2016, with a majority of 51.9% voting in favour of leaving the EU.

While Britain was originally meant to withdraw from the bloc on 29 March 2019, this has now been delayed to 31 October, but the UK might leave sooner if it manages to ratify its withdrawal agreement before the deadline.

The delay was agreed to last week at a summit of EU leaders and will mean that the UK will have to hold elections for the European Parliament if it doesn’t manage to execute an orderly departure by 22 May.

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