Less than two months after the referendum on the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, there are already 400 British descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews who have applied for Portuguese nationality. This is a significant increase, since before referring only five approved a law of the nationality of 2015
The UK has voted to exit the European Union. There are now hundreds of British people that search their ancestry to obtain a European passport. In less than two months there are four hundred British descendants of Sephardic Jews that requested Portuguese nationality. This is a considerable increase since before the referendum only five took advantage of the Nationality law. “We were expecting that after the Brexit vote on the 23rd of June, there would be, from the British people a desire to keep their nationality, and a wish to remain in the EU”. Michael Rothwell is a member on the board of Porto’s Jewish community and he says he was expecting these requests to begin. “In respect to Portuguese Sephardic Jewish descendants there is an opportunity, created by the Nationality law of 2015 that allows descendants of Portuguese Sephardic Jews that are part of a Sephardic community to request Portuguese nationality”. The certificates that authenticate the origin are issued by the Jewish communities in Portugal. According to the law, the certificates are given by the two Jewish communities, of Porto and Lisbon Only the Jewish community can determine whether a person is a Sephardic Jew or a descendant of Sephardic Jews. Sephardic Jews are Jews of Portuguese or Spanish origin, that were exiled from Portugal in the fifteenth century and that can now return. You can not fix History, but the future can be written differently. Michael ensures that these 400 requests do not mean that they want to return to Portugal but requesting nationality is a strong proof of an affective bond to Portugal.