As Britain exits EU, father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he’s seeking French citizenship

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As Britain prepares to split , father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to be seeking closer ties with bloc by applying for French citizenship. Stanley Johnson told broadcaster RTL on he was in process of “reclaiming” his French identity.

“It is a question of becoming French. If I understand correctly, I am French. My mother was born in France. Her mother was completely French, as was her grandfather,” he told RTL, which said Johnson is putting together a French citizenship request. “So for me it is a question of reclaiming what I already have.”

The elder Johnson, 80, is a member of the Parliament who backed remaining in the EU in Britain’s 2016 membership . He has since expressed for his as the prime minister led the .K. out of the bloc.

Once Britain leaves the EU’s economic embrace at 11 p.m. on , Britons will lose the automatic right to live and work in the 27 EU countries, but those with dual nationality will still be able to do so.

“I will always be . is certain,” Stanley Johnson said. “You cannot tell the English: ‘You are .’ Europe is always than the common market, than the . But having said , yes, having a link like to the is important.”