Ireland Issues Record Number of Passports as Brexit Date Nears

(Bloomberg) -- Ireland issued a record number of passports in 2019 as applications from its citizens in the U.K. 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% 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 U.K. 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 U.K. citizens seeking to retain an EU passport.

There were about 94,000 first-time applicants from people born in the U.K. The busiest months for U.K. applications were February and March, ahead of the original March 31 deadline for the U.K. to leave the EU. There was another increase in U.K. 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.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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