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Ireland issues record number of passports as Brexit date nears

Bloomberg Dublin | Updated on December 27, 2019 Published on December 27, 2019

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Ireland issued a record number of passports in 2019 as applications from its citizens in the United Kingdom (UK) surged amid Brexit uncertainty.

More than 900,000 Irish passports were handed out this year, the foreign ministry said in an emailed statement. That was an increase of 7 per cent on a year earlier.

Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said that 2019 was another bumper year for the passport service.

Ireland has seen a jump in passport applications from people in the UK since the Brexit vote. People with an Irish grandparent or those born in Northern Ireland are also entitled to an Irish passport, making it the choice for many UK citizens seeking to retain an EU passport.

There were about 94,000 first-time applicants from people born in the UK. The busiest months for UK applications were February and March, ahead of the original March 31 deadline for the UK to leave the EU. There was another increase in UK applications in October, the foreign ministry said, before the revised Brexit date of October 31, which has since been extended until the end of January 2020.

Published on December 27, 2019
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