Eastern Europeans are eight times more likely to be given a British passport than they would have been five years ago, according to research from Oxford University.
Over 8,300 citizens of the eight former Communist states which joined the EU 11 years ago became British in 2013 compared to less than 900 in 2009. This suggests that many of those who came to Britain plan to stay forever.
Overall 126,000 foreign nationals were granted citizenship last year, which is a 40 percent fall on the year before. Despite the fall in claims, net migration is still nearly 300k a year. This is despite David Cameron’s pledge to get it into the “tens of thousands”.
Dr Scott Blinder, the study’s leader, told the Daily Express: “In 2014, 125,800 foreign citizens were naturalised as British citizens. This was a 40 per cent decline from 2013, when citizenship grants reached almost 208,000, the largest annual number since records began in 1962.
“According to the Home Office, the 2013 peak in citizenship grants followed an increase in applications in advance of changes to language requirements.”