Brexit vote sends more Britons to seek Irish passports

DUBLIN • The number of British citizens applying for Irish passports rose by 22 per cent last year, Ireland's Foreign Office said yesterday, more than doubling the total number of annual applications since Britain voted to leave the European Union.

Almost 100,000 eligible Britons sought to hang on to their EU citizenship via a passport from their nearest neighbour last year, up from 81,000 in 2017 and 46,000 in 2015, the year before the Brexit vote led to a sharp rise in applications.

Anybody born in the Irish Republic or Northern Ireland, or with an Irish parent or grandparent, is entitled to an Irish passport - a total of about six million British citizens. They are able to hold dual citizenship.

Registrations for Irish passports in Northern Ireland, whose citizens can hold Irish and British passports as the province is part of the United Kingdom, rose by 2 per cent in the year to the end of December.

With three months left until the UK is due to leave the EU on March 29, the draft deal reached between both sides is floundering ahead of a vote in the British Parliament this month, opening up a range of possibilities from a Brexit without a trade deal to calling it off entirely.

  • 100k

    Number of eligible Britons who sought to hang on to their EU citizenship via a passport from Ireland last year.

    46k

    Number who did so in 2015, the year before the Brexit vote.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2019, with the headline 'Brexit vote sends more Britons to seek Irish passports'. Print Edition | Subscribe