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The father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has begun the process of applying for French citizenship, he announced Thursday.
Stanley Johnson, a retired member of the European Parliament who voted against Brexit— his son’s crowning political achievement– made the comments just hours before the United Kingdom made its final transition out of the European Union.
Speaking to RTL radio, Johnson explained that he made the decision because of strong family links to France.
“It’s not a question of becoming French. If I understand it correctly, I am French,” he told the radio station while speaking in the native language.
“My mother was born in France, her mother was totally French as was her grandfather. So for me it is about reclaiming what I already have,” he continued.
“And that makes me very happy.”
Johnson continued by describing himself as still European, despite his home country’s withdrawal from the EU.
“I will always be a European, that’s for sure. One cannot tell the British people: you are not Europeans. Having a tie with the European Union is important,” he noted.
The UK officially leaves the EU on Thursday night, after 48 years.
Speaking about the country’s departure from the coalition, the younger Johnson said that the UK would always be a European nation.
“This is not the end of Britain as a European country. We are in many ways the quintessential European civilization…and we will continue to be that,” he said.
With Post wires