How it was told
Since the UK voted Leave in 2016, it has been widely reported that the desire to secure an EU-opening Brexit-beating Irish passport has risen sharply.
Last week, figures were provided.
Neale Richmond, chair of the Irish Seanad’s Brexit Committee, said: “At least 10 per cent of the UK’s population, not including Northern Ireland, are estimated to qualify for an Irish passport and in light of Brexit, many are staking their claim to an Irish passport.
“Figures released to me by the Irish embassy in London have shown that there is no sign of this rush for Irish passports abating.”
The figures revealed 44,962 UK applications for an Irish passport – excluding from people born in Northern Ireland – in the first half of 2018. This is during the period Theresa May dithered over Brexit negotiations, hindered by the elephant in the room – the Irish border. That number is almost the same as for the entirety of 2015 – a year before the EU referendum – when there were 46,229 applications. The story went viral and the 10 per cent figure was widely repeated.
Richmond’s claim that 10 per centof the UK’s population would qualify for an Irish passport translates to around 6.6 million people. That’s roughly equivalent to the 6.65 million population on the island of Ireland.