The number of applications for Irish passports is out of control

Irish passportShutterstockAn Irish passport so many people are keen to get their hands on.

Britain’s decision to leave the European Union on Thursday appears to have resulted in a massive rush for Irish passports — and demand is outweighing supply.

Ireland’s EU status, of course, is not affected by Thursday’s Brexit vote, and many Britons will see it as the next best option to a UK that is not in the EU.

Dan Whitehead, a news correspondent for TV networks, tweeted on Tuesday: “Official at Irish Passport Office in London tells me they are forecasting 1 million new passport applications (total) #Brexit”

The news follows an announcement by Google Trends on Friday that searches for “how to get an Irish passport” spiked by over 100% just after the referendum result was announced.

But the demand is not just related to England: a post office just over the border in Belfast, Northern Ireland — which, like Scotland, voted overwhelming to stay in the EU — reported running out of Irish passports, forcing it to put up an apology notice :


Irish passport demand has reached such a critical mass that Ireland’s foreign minister Charlie Flanagan has asked Britons to stop making applications to avoid overwhelming the consular offices:

“The increased interest clearly points to a sense of concern among some UK passport holders that the rights they enjoy as EU citizens are about to abruptly end. I want to state clearly that this is not the case.”

But it may be a while before new Irish citizens will need to move there. According to a constitutional expert, Article 50 — the mechanism under the Lisbon Treaty in which a country tells the European Union it is leaving the bloc and thereby gives a two-year notice period  — is unlikely to be triggered until well after a General Election.

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