Boris Johnson’s father seeks French citizenship

As Britain prepares to split from the European Union, the father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson appears to be seeking closer ties with the bloc by applying for French citizenship.

Stanley Johnson told broadcaster RTL on Thursday that he was in the process of "reclaiming" his French identity.

"It is not 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 Mr Johnson, 80, is putting together a French citizenship request.

"So for me it is a question of reclaiming what I already have."

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Stanley Johnson, father of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaks with local reporters outside his Villa Irene in Horto village, Mount Pelion (also known as Pilio), central Greece, Friday, July 3, 2020. Stanley Johnson, arrived in Athens on Wednesday evening after flying via Bulgaria due to a current ban on direct flights from the Britain, before visiting his villa on Mount Pelion. (Dimitris Kareklidis/magnesianews.gr via AP)
Stanley Johnson, father of Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, speaks with a local reporter, outside his Villa Irene in Horto village, Mount Pelion (also known as Pilio), central Greece, Friday, July 3, 2020. Johnson arrived in Athens on Wednesday evening after flying via Bulgaria due to a current ban on direct flights from the Britain, before visiting his villa on Mount Pelion. (Dimitris Kareklidis/magnesianews.gr via AP)
File photo dated 14/10/19 of Carrie Symonds, partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and his father Stanley Johnson. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and partner Carrie Symonds have announced that they are expecting a baby in the early summer and that they have got engaged.
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Stanley Johnson, father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is seen on March 04, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)
File photo dated 01/10/19 of Stanley Johnson, father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has been criticised by MPs after flying to Greece despite Government advice urging Britons against all but essential international travel.
File photo dated 26/01/19 of Carrie Symonds, partner of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and his father Stanley Johnson. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and partner Carrie Symonds have announced that they are expecting a baby in the early summer and that they have got engaged.
Stanley Johnson attends The Sun Military Awards 2020 at the Banqueting House in London. (Photo by Keith Mayhew / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
File photo dated 26/03/19 of Stanley Johnson, the father of Boris Johnson. A neighbour of Mr Johnson's father has been shot dead at her countryside cottage. The woman, named locally as 56-year-old Debbie Zurick, was gunned down on Saturday afternoon at her home in Winsford, near Minehead in Somerset, which is next to Stanley Johnson's rural estate.
Stanley Johnson at The Sun Military Awards 2020 held at the Banqueting House, London.
Stanley Johnson attends the Good Morning Britain 1 Million Minutes Awards at Television Centre in London. (Photo by James Warren / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Stanley Johnson speaks at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, London, during an event calling for a ban on trophy hunting imports.
Environmentalist and author, Stanley Johnson (L) and Zac Goldsmith (R), Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs attend the unveiling of 21 bronze life-sized elephants sculptured by artists, Gillie and Marc at Marble Arch in London. The sculptures are to hight the plight of the species which faces extinction by 2040. The herd of elephants will be on display for one year, until 4 December 2020. (Photo by Steve Taylor / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
Stanley Johnson, father of Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, joins protesters in Trafalgar Square during the third day of an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in Westminster, London.
Carrie Symonds and Stanley Johnson, the partner and father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, in the Palace of Westminster, London, ahead of the State Opening of Parliament by Queen Elizabeth II, in the House of Lords.
Stanley Johnson, father of Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, joins protesters in Trafalgar Square during the third day of an Extinction Rebellion (XR) protest in Westminster, London.
(second from left) Boris Johnson's father Stanley Johnson and Carrie Symonds (centre) watch as the Prime Minister delivers his keynote speech on the final day of the Conservative Party Conference being held at the Manchester Convention Centre. Picture dated: Wednesday October 2, 2019. Photo credit should read: Isabel Infantes / EMPICS Entertainment.
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The elder Mr Johnson is a former member of the European Parliament who backed remaining in the EU in Britain's 2016 membership referendum. He has since expressed support for his son as the prime minister led the UK out of the bloc.

Once Britain leaves the EU at 11pm on Thursday, 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 European. That is certain," Stanley Johnson said.

"You cannot tell the English, 'You are not European'. Europe is always more than the common market, more than the European Union. But having said that, yes, having a link like that to the European Union is important."

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