UK national is as defined in the UK declaration on nationality for EC purposes made with effect from 1 January 1983. These are British citizens, British subjects under Part IV of the British Nationality Act 1981 having the right of abode in the UK, and British Dependent Territories citizens acquiring their citizenship from connection with Gibraltar. The Declaration also notes the reference in connection with the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, that “any citizen of the UK and Colonies” is to be understood as referring to any British citizen.
People became British citizens on 1 January 1983 if they were citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies on 31 December 1982 and had the right of abode in the UK on that date. The most common ways for a person to become a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies before 1 January 1983:
- by birth in the UK, or in a place still a British colony
- by naturalisation in the UK or a British colony
- by registration as a citizen of the UK and Colonies
- by legislate descent from a father to whom the previous conditions applied (prior to the introduction of the British Nationality Act 1981, a person could not claim nationality from his or her mother)