The 2016 EU referendum has generated a huge demand for foreign passports in the United Kingdom, with the Republic of Ireland being the most popular choice.
According to figures from nine countries that supplied data, quoted by The Guardian, nearly 360,000 people born in the UK have applied to get or renew an EU passport since 2016.
The number of first-time applications for Irish passports from Northern Ireland and Great Britain increased almost five-fold from about 32,000 in 2015 to just under 132,000 in 2019. In Britain alone, it mushroomed from 7,372 in 2015 to 54,859 in 2019.
The Republic of Ireland is an EU member, and provides perhaps the easiest way for Britons to obtain EU citizenship, given that an applicant who has at least one Irish-born grandparent can qualify for a passport.
There has been a surge in applications to all countries where naturalisation data is available. The number of passports granted to Britons in Germany rose from 622 in 2015 to 6,640 in 2018; in Sweden from 942 in 2016 to 4,267 in 2019; in France (320 in 2015 and 3,827 in 2019); and Belgium (127 in 2018 and 1,403 in 2019).
Figures have also grown in Italy, Spain, Denmark and Finland, but none of these countries broke the 1,000 threshold.
British people voted to depart from the European Union in a highly divisive referendum by 52 percent to 48 percent in June 2016, paving the way for more than three years of uncertainty and chaos.
That uncertainty will end today at 23:00 GMT, when Boris Johnson’s government will finally get Brexit done. The country will still continue to abide by most of EU rules during the 11-month transition period, while it renegotiates its future relationship with the bloc.