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British and want to stay European? Here is how to keep your EU citizenship after Brexit

Britain has opted to leave the European Unio

Britain has opted to leave the European Unio

“Britain has opted to leave the European Unio” width=”615″ height=”409″ class=”size-full wp-image-73905″ /> Britain has opted to leave the European Unio[/caption]Many are mourning the loss of their European citizenship – especially their ability to live and work anywhere within the state – but there are ways around the system

The UK woke up yesterday to the stark reality – and shock on both side of the campaign – that the nation had voted for Brexit in the EU referendum .

Many are tonight mourning the loss of their European citizenship – especially their ability to live and work anywhere within the state.

Then there’s the ability to set up a business anywhere you want – or access public services like education or free healthcare when you are travelling abroad.

Those rights might be disappearing for Brits but never fear, here are some tips on how to keep them – regardless of Brexit .

1. Check to see if you have any Irish blood – or any from another country
PA WireRepublic of Ireland fan Jack KeeneYou could stay European by becoming an Irish citizen
According to UK census data, as many as 10% of people living in the UK have a grandparent who was born in Ireland.

If that includes you, then you have the luck of the Irish, as you will be welcomed with open arms.

And that’s the case even if neither of your parents are Irish – and you don’t even have to move there either.

You need to sign up to Ireland’s foreign births register.

When your Irish passport arrives you will by extension be an EU citizen – and be entitled to freedom of movement across all EU countries.

Furthermore, Ireland also recognises dual citizenship – so you don’t have to give up your British passport.

For more information CLICK HERE . And check the rules relating to other EU member countries too if you have relatives from the continent.

2. Embark on some further education abroad
Getty ImagesThe French flag flies in front of the Eiffel TowerStudying in France has the added benefit of being cheaper as well as getting you EU citizenship

Unlike Britain, many countries actively encourage foreign or international students to stay, live and work there after they have completed their education.

In France you will need to be a resident for five years before you can become a French citizen – but that reduces to two years if you study at one of their universities.

A Masters degree could lead to you being naturalized and gaining EU citizenship.

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While we are still in the EU, Brits are currently entitled to study at French universities as if they were from France.

And fees there are cheaper than you would pay at a British university. Some courses are even taught entirely in English. It’s worth investigating other countries and their rules.

3. Get married to an EU citizen from a member state
Rex FeaturesClose Up Of Couple At Wedding Holding HandsMarriage could be the solution to your worries about losing your EU citizenship
Most EU countries are fairly relaxed about you gaining citizenship if you’re married to one of their citizens.

Be cautious if your partner is from another EU country.

You might find it hard to settle down in their home country – or you might be concerned that they might get sent home – so check in advance what effect getting married might have.

The Netherlands and France don’t actually require you to live in their country to apply for citizenship – as long as you are married to one of their citizens for a few years – even if you’ve never visited.

You could even marry them now in the UK and get citizenship in the next few years. Some places, like Italy and Germany, require you to live there to naturalise as a spouse – typically around two years.

Read more: Brexit, celebrity deaths, terrorist attacks… if you thought 2016 was bad already, here’s how it could get WORSE

4. Make the most of Estonia’s e-residency programme
GettyElectronic genericEstonia has an e-residency programme
Estonia launched its so-called ‘e-residency programme’ in 2015 allowing people anywhere in the world to sign up over the internet to receive an Estonian government ID and gain a special category of residency.

It doesn’t actually grant you Estonian citizenship – or rights to live there – but if you’re worried about losing your EU citizenship for business reasons, you can use the e-residency to set up an Estonian company which by extension will be an EU company and allow you to trade in all EU countries.

You can administer your Estonian company from anywhere in the world – including the UK. For more information CLICK HERE.

5. Give Cyprus £2million
South Wales EchoGeneric hands with moneyIt may cost you A LOT to stay a European citizen
Keen to boost its population, the Mediterranean island will grant you Cypriot and EU citizenship at a cost – under its Naturalization by Exception programme.

Some 2.5m Euros – in government bonds, financial assets or as a contribution to a major infrastructure project – should cover it.

Again you don’t actually have to live there – but you’ll automatically become an EU citizen.

Malta has a similar scheme which is cheaper – but you actually have to live there for a year to get citizenship (or alternatively need to buy property there).

Read more: What the Brexit vote means for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

6. Or you could always move to an EU country for five years
Travel Generic (pic: Getty)You may have to actually leave the UK for five years to keep your EU citizenship
If everything else fails, the best way you could get EU citizenship is to move there and then apply for citizenship.

Continuous residence for five years – and a working knowledge of the language and culture – will help you get a passport.

It’s expected to take years for Britain to extricate itself from the EU – so make the most of your freedom of movement entitlement while you still have chance.

The worst that could happen is that you will get sent back to the UK when Britain officially exits – but the country of your choice is likely to want you to stay if you are contributing.

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