DUBLIN, June 27 (Xinhua) -- Irish Foreign Minister Charlie Flanagan on Monday reassured British passport holders with an entitlement to an Irish passport that these entitlements have not changed following the Brexit vote.
In a statement, Flanagan said British passport holders would continue to enjoy the rights of the European Union (EU) for the foreseeable future until a formal exit was negotiated between Britain and the EU.
According to 2011 census for England and Wales and 2011 census for Scotland, there are a total of 430,000 Irish-born people residing in Britain.
The increased interest in Irish passports points to a sense of concern among some British passport holders that the rights they enjoy as EU citizens are about to end. But the Irish foreign minister said this is not the case.
"The United Kingdom has voted to leave the EU but it has not yet left," he said, adding that it will take a minimum of two years for negotiations on a British exit to conclude.
During this period, Britain remains a member of the EU, and 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, according to the Irish minister.
According to final results released by British authorities on Friday, around 17.4 million people voted for Brexit while 16.1 million others chose to to stay at the bloc. The final results showed Scotland and Northern Ireland voted to stay in the EU, while Wales and England in favor of leaving. Enditem