On 18 July 2018, the German Department of State distributed to associations in Germany, a first ministerial draft of a German Federal Brexit Implementation Act, Brexit-Übergangsgesetz (BrexitÜG), for consultation by 8 August 2018.

The draft Act provides that the UK shall, during the proposed transition period from 30 March 2019 to 31 December 2020, be deemed to be a member state of the EU for all purposes of German Federal Law. However, the BrexitÜG only deals with the Brexit transition on German Federal law level – it does not address the Brexit transition on the level of the state laws of the 16 German states. State-level Brexit transition provisions will need to be adopted by the individual state parliaments.

The BrexitÜG provides for the “grandfathering” of applications by British nationals for German citizenship beyond the end of the transition period, in cases where the application was submitted before the end of the transition period and met all relevant requirements. The purpose of that grandfathering is that British nationals shall not be denied dual citizenship just because of administrative delays. Normally, German law would not allow dual citizenship unless the other citizenship is that from another member state of the EU.

However, the draft BrexitÜG only caters for the “Deal Scenario” and not the “No Deal Scenario”, with the preparatory papers and explanations relating to the draft Act not addressing a situation of “No Deal”, and no subsequent transition period being agreed between the UK and the EU. It remains to be seen if a “No Deal Scenario” will be added to the current draft of the BrexitÜG, or whether this will be postponed until the beginning of 2019.

The grandfathering provisions in favour of British nationals applying for German citizenship do not apply in favour of German nationals applying for  British citizenship. German citizens only granted British citizenship after the end of the transition period would then cease to be German nationals, due to the German law that does not allow dual citizenship other than where that citizenship is from another member state of the EU.