Spain allows French nationals to adopt Spanish nationality without losing their own – could the same be on the horizon for the British?

Whether it will have any effect on the hopes of non-Spanish residents who wish to adopt Spanish nationality without giving up their own is uncertain, but it’s certainly no longer an outright impossibility. Hitherto, apart from those from south-American countries, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Andorra or Portugal, anyone taking up Spanish nationality had to renounce their own nationality. Now, however, Spain has signed a bilateral agreement with France to allow French nationals to acquire Spanish nationality without losing their French citizenship.

The agreement was announced a couple of years ago and it’s now reality. President Macron, calling Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez a dear colleague and friend, said that the agreement strengthened the two countries’ European identities and histories, and that it was something the leaders owed to the 150,000 French in Spain and 190,000 Spanish in France. He said that the new agreement would allow French nationals to have a full experience of belonging to both countries, opening up a common future for a “generation of fully Franco-Spanish citizens”.

Spanish PM Pedro Sánchez said that the agreement corrected long-standing wrongs for descendants of the interrelated connections between France and Spain, especially during the Spanish dictatorship and the occupation of France in WW2, and was therefore an act of reparation as well as of the future for two countries with “a common identity and a committed intent to advance together”. And in what will indeed give hope to other nationalities, Sánchez added that the agreement came “at a time of supranational identities”, a comment that could easily suggest a real shift in Spanish thinking with regard to nationality. Maybe it won’t be too long before other nationals might be able to become Spanish while retaining their own citizenship, after all we have long had “interrelated connections” with Spain, and I’m thinking more of Canarian wine than an armada in the English Channel, but … whatever it takes, frankly!