Britons have become obsessed with becoming German

'The link to Brexit seems clear, ' said Ostatistics.

The German Federal Statistical Office reported Tuesday that the number of British citizens who were naturalized as German citizens in the country rose to a record high of 2,865 in 2016.

Berlin's statistical agency noted that it expects the number of United Kingdom citizens applying for German citizenship to rise even more as the UK's expected 2019 separation date from the bloc approaches. In all, 110,383 people were given German citizenship, a 2.9% increase.

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As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, its citizens are rushing to retain ties to the bloc before the divorce is complete.

German authorities say the number of Britons granted German citizenship quadrupled previous year as Britain voted to leave the European Union, though they were still only a small fraction of newly naturalized Germans.

Brits who apply for German citizenship while the United Kingdom is still in the European Union can keep both of their passports, but those who wait until after Brexit may not be able to do the same.

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Some Britons may be concerned that Britain will make a hard Brexit, leaving it outside the single market and with limited freedom of movement in the bloc.

Almost 60 percent of new German citizens had their origins in Europe, with 29 percent thereof arriving from within the EU.

At 16,290, Turkish citizens remained the largest group seeking a Germany passport, although applications dropped by almost 17 percent.

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Some 6,632 Poles became Germans in 2016, an increase of 11.3 per cent.

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