Brits want to retain their European Citizenship regardless of Brexit
500,000 Irish-born passport holders already here. Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has noted the increase – see the attached tables – but as a matter of policy does not speculate on the reasons.
But there is widespread anecdotal evidence that people in this country are preempting a possible vote to leave the EU on 23 June and with it, the loss of their European citizenship.
1st Time Applicants born in the UK: Born abroad to Irish parents
1st Time Adults: Born in Northern Ireland
For families with college age children there are considerable academic 2015, the number of adults born in England, Scotland or Wales applying for a first Irish passport on the basis of having an Irish-born grandparent increased by more than 33 per cent, from 379 to 507.
Applications from those with one or more Irish parent rose by 11 per cent in the same period, from 3,376 to 3,736.
Ireland offers automatic citizenship to anyone whose mother or father is Irish, regardless of where they were born, while the grandchildren of citizens are also entitled to claim a passport once their births have been recorded in the country’s foreign births register.
Great-grandchildren may also be eligible if their parents registered by the time of birth. Anyone born in Northern Ireland has the same rights to Irish citizenship as anyone born in the Republic.
In Northern Ireland – where anyone born there has the same Irish citizenship rights as anyone born in the Republic – first-time adult applications for Irish passports rose by 14 per cent from 10,672 to 12,159 between 2014 and 2015. Both Britain and Ireland allow citizens to hold dual citizenship.
An Embassy of Ireland spokeswoman emphasized: “While we may be able to provide the figures, we do not extrapolate and attribute increases or decreases in applications to particular issues or reasons, including the UK’s EU referendum, as we don’t collate the reasons for application, rather the basis on which they apply.”