France tops the list of nationalities ranked by quality of life and immigration status — while Britain faces its own 'Brexit cliff-edge', writes Olenka Hamilton
France’s quality of nationality is the best in the world while Britain’s doesn’t even make the top ten, according to the third edition of an authoritative guide of nationality.
Launched in London today, the Henley & Partners' Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (QNI) ranks the objective value of world nationalities based on various factors from ‘peace and stability’ to ‘diversity of settlement freedom’. In 2nd, 3rd and 4th place were Germany, Iceland and Denmark respectively, while Somalia came last with 13.4 per cent.
‘Using a sophisticated combination of quantifiable data derived from leading international institutions and experts, including the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Air Transport Association, the QNI measures the internal value of nationality, which refers to the quality of life and opportunities for personal growth within our country of origin, as well as the external value of nationality, which identifies the diversity and quality of opportunities that our nationality allows us to pursue outside our country of origin,’ explains the report’s co-author Prof. Dr. Dimitry Kochenov, a leading constitutional and citizenship law professor.
The French nationality earned a score of 81.7 per cent, fractionally ahead of Germany, which was knocked off the top spot for the first time in seven years, with a score of 81.6 per cent. While the difference between France’s and Germany’s results is very small, France’s comparative advantage came down to its greater ‘Settlement Freedom’, mainly attributable to the country’s former colonial empire.
The premise of the report is that in a globalised world, the legal status of millions of people extends their opportunities and desires far beyond their countries of origin: the confines of the state are no longer the limit of their ambitions and expectations. A ‘hard Brexit’ therefore would significantly hamper its quality of nationality because it would see the UK losing its settlement and work rights in 30 of the world’s leading states.
The report also predicted that Brexit could increase tension and competition between the UK and the rest of Europe destabilising the nationalities of EU member states with close ties to the UK.
‘The latest results from the QNI seem to anticipate this lose–lose scenario,’ says Kochenov. ‘Both the value of European nationality overall and the value of UK nationality in particular are in gradual decline, especially in relation to faster-growing economies such as China, the UAE, and the US, whose nationalities continue to increase in value each year.
Europe, however, remains the global leader in terms of nationality quality, which means, says the report, that any loss would be felt by ‘an increasingly isolated’ Britain in the case of a hard Brexit.
Even lower down on the list in 27th place is the US because of its relatively poor standing on the index primarily due to its low Settlement Freedom compared to EU member states. Meanwhile China was ranked 59th and Russia in 63rd.
Olenka Hamilton is staff writer at Spear's