World

LONDON: Following Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, the number of applications for Irish passports in Britain has witnessed a surge, officials said.

According to a spokesman for the UK Post Office, the majority of people seeking Irish passports are British nationals residing in Northern Ireland.

A spokeswoman for the Irish embassy in London has denied reports of queues outside passport offices, but confirmed that the number of queries about Irish passports had increased considerably in recent days.

The Irish embassy in London has also tweeted a link to guide the people on passport eligibility and how to apply.

According to Google Search Trends data, the words “Irish passport” were one of the most searched terms in Britain during the last week. Searches with the phrase “Irish passport requirements” also spiked by 800 percent in the past week.

On June 23, Britain voted to leave the EU in a referendum by 52 percent to 48 percent. The decision led to global economic crash and an announcement by Prime Minister David Cameron to resign in October.

The citizens of 28 EU nations enjoy free movement rights in member states, and can seek employment without the need for a work permit. They are also entitled to the use of healthcare facilities in any EU state.

Britian’s move to leave the bloc is expected to take at least two years, once London puts in a formal request at the EU under the Article 50 of the 2007 Lisbon Treaty.