Number of Britons applying for Irish passports increases by more than two-thirds

Ireland's Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan has said that the number of Britons seeking Irish passports has increased by more than two-thirds to some extent due to Brexit.

ANI| Updated: Apr 16, 2017, 09:52 AM IST

London: Ireland's Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan has said that the number of Britons seeking Irish passports has increased by more than two-thirds to some extent due to Brexit.

Expressing his concerns over the impact of the UK's impending departure from the European Union, Flanagan said there had been a surge in the applications because of a sense of concern after the Brexit vote last June.

There was an 83 percent rise in the applications from the UK for Irish passports in the three months after the Brexit referendum.

Flanagan's department said that it received 51,079 passport applications from Great Britain and Northern Ireland in the first quarter of 2017 as compare to 30,303 during the same period last year.

His department said 51,079 people from Great Britain and Northern Ireland applied for passports in the first quarter of 2017, compared with 30,303 during the same period last year.

The department added that 250,000 people from across the world applied for passports in the same quarter.

The Guardian reported citing British citizens as saying that they were applying for Irish citizenship to "eliminate any hassle in employment" and ensure they can travel freely after Brexit.

The 1.8 million people residing in Northern Ireland are entitled to Irish and EU citizenship under the Good Friday agreement.

More than 7,00,000 passports were issued by Ireland last year which is up by 9% in 2015.

About 65,000 Britons received Irish passports, a 42 percent rise on 2015.

Nearly five million people live in Ireland, according to the 2016 Irish census

"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," The Guardian quoted Flanagan as saying.