Photographer: Vincent Isore/Getty Images

Ireland Feels the Love as Passport Applications Surge on Brexit

  • More than 70,000 requests from United Kingdom this year
  • Submissions from Great Britain rise 17 percent year on year

U.K. applications for Irish passports surged almost a fifth in the first half of 2016, amid worries Britain would withdraw from the European Union.

Some 31,707 Irish passport applications came from Great Britain in the first six months of the year, the nation’s foreign ministry said in Dublin on Friday. That’s 17 percent higher than the same period in 2015. Applications in June rose 22 percent from a year earlier.

Almost 40,000 applications came from Northern Ireland, increasing 14 percent year-on-year. The U.K.’s vote to leave the EU last month 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 method to retain access to those rights.

According to the 2011 census, some 407,000 Irish-born people live in the U.K., while thousands of others are entitled to apply for an Irish passport through their parents or grandparents.

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