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Number Of Irish Passport Applications More Than Double Since Brexit Referendum

Number Of Irish Passport Applications More Than Double Since Brexit Referendum

Irish passport applications from UK residents have more than doubled in the last three years as British citizens scramble to remain part of the European Union.

Figures obtained by LADbible as part of a freedom of information request show that the number of applications went up from just over 40,000 in 2015 to more than 100,000 in 2019.

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On 23 June 2016 a public vote was held to decide whether the United Kingdom should remain or leave the European Union. More than 30 million people voted and 17.4 million opted for Brexit - in the very same year Irish passport applications rose by over 17,000.

Since the referendum there has been uncertainty over the deal in place for the UK, which has been heightened by two changes in Prime Minister and two general elections. As it stands, a new deadline has been set to leave the EU on 31 January 2020, pending approval from UK and European parliaments.

A mock Irish tourist passport in a 'break glass' in case of hard Brexit box seen at a protest last year. Credit: PA
A mock Irish tourist passport in a 'break glass' in case of hard Brexit box seen at a protest last year. Credit: PA

There has been a movement by some UK residents to find and exploit Irish family links by paying for citizenship and a new passport.

Some people feel that having an Irish passport will enable them to travel more freely - as Ireland will still be a part of the European Union.

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To give some background to the statistics: in 2012 Ireland received 45,646 applications, which dropped slightly to 42,441 in 2013. In the year 2014 there were 43,449 applications and in 2015 46,229.

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Then in 2016 the number of applications rose to 63,453 - and jumped again in 2017 to 80,752. In 2018 there were 98,544 and up to 4 December in 2019 there had been a staggering 101,947 applications put forward from people in Britain.

A table showing the increase. Credit: Infogram
A table showing the increase. Credit: Infogram

One of those people was Catherine Reader, 20, who is in her final year of a maths degree. Catherine applied, alongside her mum and brother, in the second half of 2016 - the day after the referendum took place.

She told LADbible: "I applied because I am scared that this country will change for the worse after Brexit, I don't trust the Conservative party being in power and they'll have more freedom to do whatever they want after Brexit when the EU can't restrict them in any way.

"I think as a result there will be more inequality and intolerance in the UK, I don't want to live in a country like that. I am glad I have done it as it keeps my options open. In the future I may choose to live and work in the EU, but this depends on my experiences in post-Brexit Britain."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the Brexit debate in the House of Commons, London. Credit: PA
Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during the Brexit debate in the House of Commons, London. Credit: PA

A Government spokesperson told LADbible: "This Government will get Brexit done on 31 January, delivering certainty and giving people and businesses a firm foundation on which to plan for the future.

"We will then negotiate our future relationship with the EU, in time for the end of the Implementation Period in December 2020.

"2020 will be a great year for our country - the year we get Brexit done, boost NHS funding, invest in infrastructure and level-up access to opportunity and prosperity across the nation."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Ireland, uk news, Passport, lad files, News, brexit

Rebecca Shepherd

I'm Becky - a journalist at LADbible. I graduated with a First Class BA in Journalism before going on to cover criminal court cases, medical tribunals and breaking news for the national media - which inevitably and eventually became as glum as it sounds. Can often be found rocking a bag for life - which I made a 'thing' way before Rihanna. You can contact me at [email protected]