Inga Lockington, a Dane who married her British husband in 1979 and has lived in the UK ever since, recently had her application for British citizenship turned down on the grounds that she is unable to provide proof of permanent residence.
Lockington, who has been a Liberal Democrat councillor in Ipswich for 19 years, even served as mayor of her adopted town, reports the Ipswich Star.
It was Brexit plus the law change in Denmark allowing dual nationality that prompted her to apply for citizenship.
Where are your papers?
However, the UK Home Office was unimpressed. Denying her application she received a letter saying “As you have not provided a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card issued by the Home Office, we cannot be satisfied that you were permanently resident in the United Kingdom on the date of your application for naturalisation and it has been refused.”
Lockington argues that EU citizens don’t need a permanent residence card and additionally, in December 1979 her Danish passport was stamped at Harwich with the words: “Given leave to enter the United Kingdom for an indefinite period.”
The news has caused disbelief in the town and local MP Sandy Martin tried unsuccessfully to raise it as an emergency matter at Prime Minister’s Question Time yesterday.
Martin said that he will be asking the Home Office for an explanation.