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Passport applications from the UK last month were 76% up on 2015

There were more UK-based requests for an Irish passport in June than in July, however.

Image: Shutterstock

THE NUMBER OF passport applications from people living in the UK increased 73% in July, compared to the previous year.

In July, the month after the UK’s referendum vote to leave the European Union, 7,321 people living Britain applied for a passport – compared to 4,242 a year ago.

In the North, there were 6,638 Irish passports requested in July, compared to 4,070 in July 2015 – a 63% increase. It followed calls by the DUP’s Ian Paisley Jnr for northern unionists to apply for an Irish passport.

Overall, there were 64,310 applications for an Irish passport in July, compared to 78,408 in June.

The overall figure for July is also slightly down on last year, suggesting that applications from outside the UK have dropped significantly.

The number of applications for an Irish passport in July from people north of the border was 6,638 in July 2016, compared with 7,049 in June.

The UK voted to leave the European Union by 52% to 48% in a momentous 23 June referendum – sparking fears that the UK will end freedom of movement of people, capital, goods and services.

shutterstock_452409433 (1) Source: Shutterstock/schistra

Tariffs and border controls

Similarly to Scotland, 56% of voters in the North voted to remain in the EU, bucking the overall trend in the UK.

Prior to the vote, Theresa May, now British prime minister, said it was “inconceivable” the Irish border would not be affected by a Brexit vote.

She also insisted that Brexit would lead to tariffs and some form of controls between the Republic and the North – although Taoiseach Enda Kenny has sought to ensure any new controls are carried out ‘invisibly’ through modern technology.

Last month, Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald said the government was “concerned” about a jump in visa applications.

Last year, 10,000 visa applications were made from the North and Britain, in comparison to just 1,800 in 2014.

Sinn Féin has repeatedly said the North must not be “dragged out of Europe on the tails of a vote in England, and was quick off the mark to call for a referendum on Irish unification.

So far the British government has dismissed calls for a border poll.

Read: FactCheck: Is there faster broadband on the moon than in Roscommon?

Read: Dublin’s Lord Mayor has attacked Ibec for ‘wanting to rip apart’ Irish society

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