The amount of Britons that applied for Irish passports increased by over two-thirds, partly due to Brexit, said Ireland’s minister of foreign affairs.
Charlie Flanagan stated that he is quite concerned about the UK’s upcoming exit from the EU.
The department stated that 51,079 individuals from Great Britain as well as Northern Ireland have applied to obtain passports in only the first quarter of the year 2017, compared to 30,303 in the same exact period a year prior.
The department got 250,000 applications throughout the globe during the same exact quarter.
British citizens said to the Guardian a year ago that they will be applying to obtain Irish citizenship in order to “eliminate any hassle in employment” as well as ensure they would be able to travel freely post-Bexit.
“It’s reasonable to suggest that Brexit is a factor in what are record numbers of applications,” stated Flanagan from the ruling party, Fine Gael.
“I think it’s also reasonable to assume that there are large numbers of people of Irish descent who now feel that they would like to remain as EU citizens in what is a changing time in relations between Ireland and the UK.”
Flanagan stated: “I am very concerned about the impact of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on our economy here in Ireland, and I am really anxious to make sure the Good Friday agreement is not disturbed.
“I am saddened that the UK is leaving the EU formally, but I of course very much accept the desire and will of the majority in the UK.”
A spokesperson for Flanagan’s same department stated: “The increase in application numbers is attributable to a variety of causes, including an expanding population and a significant increase in outbound travel in recent years.
“The decision by the UK to leave the EU may have also had some impact, although the department does not ask people why they are applying for a passport, only whether or not they are eligible.”