Almost 100,000 eligible Britons are trying to retain their EU citizenship by obtaining a passport from their closest EU neighbour, The Guardian reported. The number of British citizens applying for Irish citizenship rose by 22% in 2018, Ireland’s foreign office said on Monday – more than doubling the total number of annual applications since Britain voted to leave the European Union back in 2016.
In 2017 the number of applicants for Irish passports was 81,000 and in 2015, before the Brexit referendum — just 46,000. Under the current regulations, anybody born in the Irish Republic or Northern Ireland, or with an Irish parent or grandparent, is entitled to an Irish passport. That makes a total of about 6 million British citizens eligible for Irish citizenship.
Earlier reports have noted that descendants of Jewish families in the UK who fled the Nazi regime during World War II are also applying in increasingly large numbers for German citizenship ever since the Brexit referendum.
The United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union in a referendum in June 2016 and is expected to do so by March 2019.