If your baby-to-be is lucky enough to be both British and entitled to EU citizenship, you can stop reading. If you are British, if your new darling won’t be entitled to be an EU citizen in the post-Brexit world and if this bothers you (it doesn’t bother everyone), then this post is for you. In fact this whole website is for you.
The EU and the UK are (almost certainly) going to part ways and your new child and the generations that follow will not enjoy the benefits of EU citizenship. Whether you favour leave or remain, it is natural to want your own child to have opportunities and advantages and thus to want them to have EU citizenship. Many British children will automatically have these opportunities and advantages after Brexit due to a parent or grandparent being from an EU country, which is incredibly unfair on those who won’t.
There are some well-known ways to acquire another nationality, such that both nationalities could be passed to your children. For example, relocation pre-Brexit to Belgium for at least six years or purchase of an expensive property in Malta should work. The former seems a bit much and the latter is beyond most people’s financial means.
There is however an easier, lesser known, way. We are not saying that it is easy and it does not give you EU citizenship, only your child. It can however be done by a person of typical means willing to go to a bit of effort.
The answer could not be simpler in principle. Provided your child is born in Northern Ireland, he or she can have both British and Irish nationalities. Of course, with Irish nationality comes EU citizenship. And a super plus of giving birth in Northern Ireland is that the ambit of the NHS is not left.
So-called “birth tourism”, where a mother-to-be relocates to give birth so as to advantage her offspring in some way, is well established in many parts of the world. British nationality has been amongst the best around for a very long time and birth tourism by British people is virtually unknown. Since the benefits of being British are fast waining and the opportunity exists for people to give their offspring EU citizenship, we’re expecting birth tourism to growth quickly in popularity.
While simple in principle, relocating for a time to Northern Ireland is, plainly, not so straightforward in practice. Travelling while heavily pregnant presents issues. It can’t be known when the baby will arrive and how long you need accommodation for. You don’t know when you will feel comfortable travelling back with the newborn. Leaving one’s support network behind over a traumatic period goes against instinct. This is our first post on the subject. Subsequent posts will go into detail (a lot of detail) on the logistics, the quirk of law that grants the right to be Irish to British persons born in Northern Ireland, why EU citizenship is such a great gift for your child, and more.