Stanley Johnson, the father of pro-Brexit British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said he is going to apply for French citizenship in order to maintain close ties to the EU.
Speaking to French radio station RTL, Stanley said his grandmother was French and his mother was born in France, so he believed he was “already French” and was claiming what is rightfully his.
“It is not a question of becoming French. If I understood correctly, I am French,” he said in French in the interview.
“My mother was born in France, her mother was entirely French, and her grandfather too. So for me, it is a question of claiming what I already have. As a result, I’m very happy.”
He added: “I will always be European, that’s for sure. You can’t say to the English ‘you are not European.’ Having a link with the EU is important.”
Stanley, 80, previously worked as a member of the European Parliament and voted “remain” in the 2016 referendum in which Britain narrowly voted in favour of leaving the EU.
However, in an interview with The Times newspaper last December, Stanley said he had changed his mind and was supporting to leave the bloc.
The prime minister’s family has remained split on Brexit over the last few years.
His sister, Rachel, supported the pro-remain and now-defunct political party Change UK while his lawmaker brother Jo resigned from the cabinet over Brexit tensions last September.
During the Conservative party conference in October 2019, the prime minister told the crowd his mother voted to leave the EU.
Stanley was then filmed turning to Boris Johnson’s partner, Carrie Symonds, and saying: “I didn’t know that.”