Huge surge in Britons applying for non-UK passports

The number of British citizens who have applied to acquire the nationality of another EU member state has surged since the Brexit referendum, data shows.

Since 2016 more than 350,000 UK citizens have opted to apply for the post-Brexit insurance policy, with some even forfeiting their British passport to retain their EU rights after Brexit.

The close historical ties between Ireland and the UK put the country top of the league of EU passports now held by dual-national Britons. But there have also been increases in Germany and France, where there has been a tenfold rise in naturalisation of British citizens.

In Spain, where dual nationality for British nationals is not a possibility, the numbers remain small but the rise since the referendum has also been sharp.

Just over 32,000 citizens in Northern Ireland and Great Britain applied to receive Irish passports in 2015 for the first time. This has almost quadrupled in the last four years with figures for 2019 showing 131,817 new applications for Irish passports, with nearly 55,000 from GB alone.

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