Figures released to Fine Gael Senator, Neale Richmond, have shown that the post Brexit rush for Irish passports in the UK continues with 2018 set to be the busiest year so far.
“Since the people of the UK voted, narrowly, to leave the EU in 2016; we have seen a continuing rise in the number of applications for Irish passports in the UK.
“Current rules entitle those born to Irish parents or Grandparents to apply for an Irish passport through a claim to citizenship.
“At least 10% of the UK’s population, not including Northern Ireland, are estimated to qualify for an Irish passport and in light of Brexit; many including a number of my own family members are staking their claim to an Irish passport.
“Figures released to me by the Irish Embassy in London have shown that there is no sign of this rush for Irish passports abating.
“In 2015, the year before the referendum, there were 46,229 applications, consistent with the annual average up to then. In 2016, the year of the referendum, this figure rose to 63,453 before increasing further to a whopping 80,752 in 2017.
“Figures for the first half of 2018 show the number of applications received by the Embassy in London is already at 44,962. Embassy officials predict that based on this, 2018 will be the busiest year so far for Irish passport applications in the UK.
“While many in the UK are concerned with the looming disaster of Brexit, we must seize the positives from this new wave of people reconnecting with their Irish heritage, our post Brexit UK-Irish relations can be built on a strong, connected diaspora.”
Brexit will have a significant impact on the rights of UK citizens in relation to Europe.
Post Brexit, Irish passport holders will benefit from relatively painless travel requirements between Ireland the UK and the EU. They will also have the right to live and work without an visa requirements in the UK and the other 26 EU countries.
Many people see this as a benefit over a post Brexit British passport, leading to record levels of Irish passports being issued in the UK.