Brits seeking post-Brexit Irish passports spikes 22 per cent in 2018

Emily Nicolle
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Rush For Irish Passport Applications Increases By Britons Since Brexit
The 2016 referendum led to a spike in applications for Irish passports (Source: Getty)

The number of Brits applying for an Irish passport soared 22 per cent in the last year, at more than double the amount of annual applications than before the 2016 Brexit referendum.

Almost 100,000 eligible applicants from the UK sought a way to retain their EU membership in 2018, according to figures released today by Ireland's foreign office.

This was up from 81,000 last year, and 46,000 in 2015 before the referendum caused a spike in applications.

Approximately 6m British people are eligible for an Irish passport, if they have been born in either Ireland or Northern Ireland, or have a parent or grandparent that is Irish. They can also hold dual citizenship with the UK.

In Northern Ireland, where citizens can hold both British and Irish passports, registrations for an Irish passport rose two per cent by the end of December.

Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney said 2018 had been a record-breaking year for applications from Great Britain. During the busiest period in 2018, 6,500 passport applications were made in a single day.

A total of 822,581 travel documents were issued by the Irish government this year.

Prior to the referendum, growth in application rates for Irish passports from Britain had remained largely static for at least four years.

Outside of the UK, New York was the next Irish consulate to have received the highest amount of passport applications. This was then followed by Canberra, Pretoria, San Francisco and Ottawa.