Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Britons’ EU passport queries flood Ireland’s embassy in London

Britons trying to hang onto EU citizenship have inundated Ireland’s embassy in London and post offices in British-run Northern Ireland with passport inquiries and requests for application forms, the Irish foreign office. Post offices ran out of forms and the embassy fielded more than 4,000 passport inquiries compared to the 200 a day it usually gets, a diplomatic source told Reuters. Anybody born in the Irish Republic or Northern Ireland, or with an Irish parent or grandparent, is entitled to an Irish passport – about six million people living in Britain. “Following the UK referendum, there has been a spike in interest in Irish passports in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and elsewhere,” Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan said. “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,” he said in a statement. Flanagan warned that a surge in applications would place significant pressure on turnaround times at passport offices and could affect those with imminent travel plans. A member of Northern Ireland’s largest Irish nationalist party, Sinn Fein, called on the government in Dublin to open a passport office in Belfast after post offices ran out of forms and were unable to meet demand until more arrived. Northern Irish citizens can hold both an Irish and British passport.



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