British demand for Irish passports rises as Brexit looms

British demand for Irish passports surged in 2018 as Brexit moved closer.

Out of the total number of applications in the year to December 14, 98 544 came from Great Britain, an increase of 22% from the year-earlier period, the foreign ministry said in Dublin.

The UK’s vote to leave the EU has raised concerns that its citizens could lose the right to live and work in Europe without restrictions, and an Irish passport is seen as a shortcut to retaining access to those rights. Some 84 855 applications came from Northern Ireland.

In all, 822 000 Irish passports were issued in 2018, the ministry said.

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