‘The English are falling over each other to get Swedish citizenship’

'The English are falling over each other to get Swedish citizenship'
Photos: TT
After 48 years living in Sweden, Englishman Tim Crosfield has become a Swedish citizen, praising Sweden's authorities for helping him and other Brits with Brexit, or as he calls it "our idiotic problem".

Love took him to Sweden. But it was Brexit that made him Swedish.

Tim, who’s about to turn 82, has lived in Sweden since 1971 and is still active in translation and language work.

“I have never had to search for a job, so I guess I’ve been lucky,” he told Swedisn news agency TT.

He came to Sweden because of his first wife.

With two siblings left in England, he still takes regular trips back ‘home’.

“I long for home almost all the time. But the home I left is England 40 years ago, with the Beatles and so on.”

Today's England is very different but Tim points out that said rosy retrospections have been harnessed by the Brexit camp to gain support.

After all, he isn't a stereotypical example of voting habits among Britain’s older voters.

“I'm a longtime conservative but I’m a remainer.

“It’s no longer possible to say 'you are right or left therefore you are this or that'”.

According to him, the drawn-out and divisive process of leaving the EU has seriously hurt Britan’s international reputation.

“I am ashamed of the British Parliament and don’t have the fullest confidence in them at all right now,” he says.

Tim argues Brexit divided British society on matters that were previously taken for granted, creating glaring opposite poles in everyday life among its people.

The frustration stemming from lingering Brexit negotiations and a growing concern about how it would affect his everyday life in Sweden eventually pushed him apply for Swedish citizenship.

And Tim is not alone.

The number of Swedish citizenship applications from British citizens has soared recently.

During the first four months of 2019, 1 563 cases were submitted to Sweden’s Migration Board, almost as many as received throughout 2016 and a noticeable increase from 2018.

“I had no need to apply for Swedish citizenship previously but then came Brexit,” Tim explains. 

“Most of my English friends have sought Swedish citizenship and I think they will get it.”

He has only good things to say about Sweden, even the Swedish health service “that is so criticized”, and thanks the authorities for being “knowledgeable, familiar and committed to our idiotic problem”.

But does he consider himself Swedish? Not yet.

“Now the English are falling over each other to get Swedish citizenship.

“I wouldn’t say I'm Swedish but I do have Swedish citizenship.

“I do wonder if I'm still British. Or am I somewhere in the middle, somewhere offshore in the North Sea. “

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