More British-born Irish people apply for Irish passports as they want to take advantage of their ancestry and keep the EU nationality in case of a Brexit.
According to figures by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, in 2015, 507 British citizens, entitled to apply for an Irish passport through the granny rule, applied to the Irish authorities for a passport. In 2014, 379 people had apply under the same reasoning.
The figures were obtained by the British daily, The Guardian, which also reported that applications from those with one or more Irish parent rose by 11 per cent in the same period, from 3,376 to 3,736.
The Guardian newspaper interviewed many British citizens about why they are applying for an Irish passports and many of them said they want to enjoy the free movement right deriving directly from the EU citizenship. Kevin Warnes, explained: “I have two children and I want them to retain their EU citizenship. I want them to be able to travel, live and work freely in a Europe of open borders, to explore their near world with as much liberty as possible.”
While more people are seeking Irish passports in case of a Brexit, the latest poll by YouGov indicates that the majority of the British citizens don’t want to leave the European Union. According to the polls, remain (in the EU) has had four consecutive leads, averaging 40 percent since February 25, while Leave has averaged 37 percent.
Stephan Shakespeare, YouGov CEO, said about the polls: “The remain side has won the first two weeks of this campaign. As attention is turning away from Cameron vs Boris and towards the bigger issues at stake, it is fear of the unknown that is dominating minds.”