No change to Irish Passport Entitlements following Referendum – Minister Flanagan27 June 2016
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan TD, has moved to reassure UK passport holders with an entitlement to an Irish passport that these entitlements have not changed as a result of Thursday’s referendum outcome. He further stated that UK passport holders would continue to enjoy EU rights for the foreseeable future until a formal exit was negotiated between the UK and the EU.
Speaking today (Monday) in advance of Dáil statements, Minister Flanagan stated:
“Following the UK referendum, there has been a spike in interest in Irish passports in Northern Ireland, Great Britain and elsewhere, although there has been some exaggeration of demand.
“The increased interest clearly points to a sense of concern among some UK passport holders that the rights they enjoy as EU citizens are about to abruptly end. I want to state clearly that this is not the case. The United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union but it has not yet left. It will take some time for negotiations on a British exit to conclude; Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty envisages a two year negotiation process once the Article is triggered, while many speculate this could take longer. During this period, the UK remains a member of the European Union, its citizens continue to fully enjoy EU rights including free movement of people within the EU. At the same time, the referendum has not in any way changed the entitlement to an Irish passport which extends to those born on the island of Ireland and those claiming citizenship through parents or grandparents born in Ireland.
“An unnecessary surge in applications for Irish passports will place significant pressure on the system and on turnaround times and is likely to impact those with a genuine need for passports to facilitate imminent travel plans.
“I urge those who believe they need to apply for an Irish passport immediately to enjoy free travel in the EU, to take full account of the facts before making an application. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website clearly sets out information on passport entitlements and procedures (www.dfa.ie/irelanduk-citizenshipandpassports)
“On a practical level, I am aware that there have been some calls for a passport office in Belfast. I want to point out that the vast majority of passport applicants on both sides of the border apply through the Post Office network on this island. This is the most convenient and cost effective way to apply. There are Passport Offices in Dublin and Cork which can deal with emergency applications and, given the size of the island, people in Northern Ireland are not unduly disadvantaged.
“My Department is closely monitoring the situation with respect to the impact on applications and the deployment of Passport Service staff and other resources.”
27 June 2016