Brexit boost? SURGE in Irish passport applications – with staggering 20% living in UK

Posted on Dec 30 2017 - 1:58am by admin

Nearly 82,000 citizens in Northern Ireland sought the burgundy-coloured passport, an increase of almost 20% on the previous year. In Britain the demand for the documents soared by more than 28% to 81,287.

For citizens in Northern Irish and Britain, an Irish passport also allows the holder to remain an EU citizen following Brexit. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs in Dublin said more than 779,000 of the Republic’s identity papers were issued in total this year – another record figure.

They said it received 785,026 passport applications during 2017 but it only issued 779,184.

Ireland’s tanaiste (deputy prime minister) Simon Coveney said: “This is the highest number of Irish passports ever issued in one year. 

“It represents an increase of over 6% compared to 2016 (itself a record-breaking year), and an increase of over 15% since 2015.

“The number of applicants from Northern Ireland and Great Britain has continued to rise. Overall, almost 20% of the total number of applications received by the passport service this year were from Irish citizens in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.”

People born in Northern Ireland have an automatic right to Irish citizenship, while British people with an Irish parent, or in certain circumstances an Irish grandparent, also have an automatic right to become Irish citizens.

Prior to the post-Brexit surge in interest in Irish passports about 50,000 Irish passports were usually issued in Britain each year.

It comes amid a surge in support for a United Ireland, according to a new poll of citizens in the Republic of Ireland. 

Pollsters Ireland Thinks interviewed 1,144 people in the Republic of Ireland between December 14 and 22 with results in staggering contrast to those recorded earlier this year. 

In a similar poll in March, when undecided respondents were excluded, support for unification was at exactly 50:50 between those in favour and those against. 

However after nine months in which Irish politicians and citizens have watched, first in bafflement and then in frustration, as British negotiators fumbled the border issue, support has risen. 

Following a new poll this month, 60 per cent of respondents are now in favour of unification with just 40 per cent against, when undecideds are again excluded. 

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