Post Brexit Brits clamour for Irish passports and citizenship

Published:  14 Oct at 6 PM
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Thousands of British citizens are rushing to mitigate Brexit’s effects on their lives by applying for Irish passports and citizenship.

During the three months following the announcement that Britain had voted to leave the European Union, a massive 37,000 Brits living in both the UK and Northern Ireland are taking the emigration route to the southern part of the island. The increase of 83 per cent over the same months last year has resulted in the Irish passport office extending temporary staff contracts for at least three months.

In addition, the total of citizenship applications from Britishers already resident in Ireland has also increased six-fold to 351. Office of National Statistics records show 332,299 Irish-born persons were living in the UK in 2015, but the number who could in theory be entitled to Irish citizenship is far larger at 2.1 million, including the 117,000 Brits now resident in Ireland.

One member of the Irish parliament is already urging the government in Dublin to slash the cost of a citizenship application by 50 per cent in order to encourage more UK nationals to take Irish nationality. At present, the charge is just under a thousand euros, twice as high as the cost of the same process elsewhere in the EU.

One UK expat who’s made the decision to seek Irish citizenship has been living in the Emerald Isle for many years. Married to an Irishman, she’s finally decided the anticipated strain of travel once the UK leaves the EU simply isn’t worth it. She told the media she wouldn’t have given up her British passport had Brexit not become an uncomfortable reality, even although she’s more than happy with her expat life.

Another Brit working in County Dublin and travelling regularly as part of his job is also applying to become an Irish national. He’s concerned over travel complications, especially if his British wife is accompanying him, and says he needs to travel freely all over Europe as well as to the USA. His only worry is that the citizenship process takes at least 12 months to complete.
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