Boris Johnson's father applies to become part of the EU as Britain pulls out

·1-min read

The father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed on the eve of Brexit that he’s taking steps to apply for French nationality.

“It’s not a question of becoming French – if I understand correctly I am French,” Stanley Johnson told French radio station RTL.

“My mother was born in France; her mother was completely French, as was her grandfather … For me it’s a question of obtaining what I already have and I am very happy about that.”

The 80-year-old former member of the European Parliament and Commission was among the first British civil servants to work in Brussels after Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973.

Thanks to his career, Stanley Johnson’s children – including Boris, who delivered the Brexit agreement – spent part of their childhoods in the Belgian capital, also learning French.

Like many British families, the family of Boris Johnson has long been torn apart on the subject of Brexit.

"I'll always be European … you can't tell the English they’re not Europeans," said the elder Johnson, speaking as the free movement between UK and EU nationals comes to an end.

The UK's complete departure from the European Union will take effect at 11pm GMT, or midnight in Brussels.