Johnson, a former Member of the European Parliament, told French radio station RTL he “will always be European” in an interview aired on Thursday.
“It’s not a question of becoming French. If I understood correctly, I am French,” he told RTL in French, highlighting his family’s link with the country.
“My mother was born in France, her mother was entirely French as was her grandfather. So for me it’s a question of reclaiming what I already have,” he said of the decision to become a French citizen. “Therefore, I am very happy.”
Britain officially leaves the EU’s single market and customs union when the transition period ends at 11 p.m. GMT (6 p.m. ET) on New Year’s Eve.
Stanley Johnson insisted that Brexit will not mark the end of European identity for him or the English people. “I will always be European, that’s for sure. One cannot tell the English people: ‘You’re not European’,” Johnson told RTL.
“Europe is always more than the common market, it is more than the European Union,” he added. “But that being said, yes, having such a link with the European Union is important.”