Record surge in Irish passport applications following Brexit
In our most recent Brexit article, we highlighted how the interests of Ireland might be best met during the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. Sky News reports that almost one year on from the Brexit referendum, Dublin has recorded a 70% surge in passport applications from people based in Britain in the wake of the vote to leave the EU.
You have an automatic right to an Irish passport if you were born in Northern Ireland or if you live on the UK mainland and have an Irish parent. You may also be eligible for an Irish passport if you have an Irish grandparent. However, this is not always a given.
Ambassador Dan Mulhall said: "The increase this year is up over 70% - that's the demand for Irish passports from people based in Britain. Also, of course, people applying for Irish citizenship through a grandparent, that's gone up quite dramatically," he added, speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme.
The report goes on to further highlight that on average 50,000 Irish passports are issued in Britain each year, while as many as 70,000 were issued last year.
We discussed in our previous article, the powers that be in Dublin have expressed concern over the possibility of a hard border with Northern Ireland because of Brexit. This issue, and protecting the peace agreement, will be an important part of exit talks.
Mr Mulhall said talks over the border in Ireland were "in a good position", due to the recognition on all sides to maintain a soft border after Brexit.
Michel Barnier, who is the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, reassured Ireland during a recent visit to Dublin that he “will work to avoid a hard border.”
Mr Mulhall said a border poll on a united Ireland could be "something that will arise at some time in the future, Brexit complicates the situation for everyone in Ireland. We would prefer if Britain were to remain in the European Union, that would be the most straightforward way of maintaining the good situation we have with Northern Ireland." he said.
Whatever the outcome of these talks, it will affect the way that freight moves into and around the whole of Ireland.