Brexit border-dash: I can’t become a Dane – The Post

Brexit border-dash: I can’t become a Dane

The end of a long and arduous road (photo: Hasse Ferrold)
December 2nd, 2018 5:00 pm| by Peter Kenworthy
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I took the Danish citizenship test on Wednesday, so I can apply to become a Danish citizen. In the meantime, however, a new law has been passed regarding self-sufficiency that means I won’t be able to acquire Danish citizenship for several years.

Never mind that I was born at Rigshospitalet in Copenhagen to a Danish mother, and that I automatically became a British citizen because my father was British, as was the case in the 1970s.

Or that I am married to a Dane and have two Danish children, attended school in Denmark, have a Danish teaching degree and a master’s, and have worked as a teacher, journalist and academic in Denmark.

The first rejection
I have already applied for Danish citizenship once: the day after the Brexit vote. Nearly two years later I received a letter that explained that my application had been rejected.

“You have not documented your knowledge and understanding of Danish society, culture and history,” I was told in a letter from the Danish Ministry of Immigration and Integration.

The law student who had penned the letter told me that I needed to take a citizenship test. I (and the lawyers I consulted on the matter) had believed that the so-called ‘Princess Rule’ meant that I was exempt from doing so, as I was the son of a Danish mother and a foreign father who were married between 1961 and 1978.

Olsen Gang mentality
In the 147 pages of learning material for the citizenship test, you can read about how Denmark is supposedly one of the richest and most well-functioning countries in the world, and that the Danish Constitution does not distinguish between the rights of its inhabitants according to creed or origin.

It also informs the reader about lots of trivial things, such as how the Olsen Gang comedy film series are the most popular Danish films ever made.

I must admit that I do feel a certain affinity for the main character of the series, criminal gang leader and societal outcast Egon Olsen, at the moment.

Especially when he goes on one of his infamous rants against the dog-heads, wimps, lousy amateurs, botchers, untalented scumbags, impotent peasants, nursery nurses and Social Democrats that he believes have messed up his ingenious plans.

Peter Kenworthy


Peter is a British/Danish journalist and Master of Social Science. He has worked for two Danish newspapers, an NGO and a municipal press department, is a contributing author to ‘African Awakening: The emerging revolutions’, and has written articles for an array of Danish and English-speaking newspapers and magazines.