Irish passports will have a unique advantage regardless of Brexit outcome
In post-Brexit Britain, Ireland’s newly confirmed agreements with the UK will ensure close ties between the two countries.
Despite the ongoing unclear political and economic relationship between Britain and the EU, one area which currently remains strong is the tie between Ireland and the UK.
The UK and the EU recently entered into a memorandum of understanding, reiterating their commitment to keep the Common Travel Area as well as the privileges and rights promised through it for British and Irish citizens.
After Brexit, Irish and British citizens can continue to move freely and reside and work in each other’s countries without having to be granted permission. This includes mutual recognition of qualifications, being self-employed, equal access to education and health care, social housing, protection and voting.
Irish citizens will have freedom of movement across all 30 EU/EEA member states as well as the UK, a unique position and one likely to be attractive to those looking to secure a second passport.
Meanwhile, as Emmet Whelan, a partner in the Irish employment team at Byrne Wallace points out, “the British government has indicated that one of its priorities in any Brexit agreement is to ensure that the free movement of other EU citizens within the UK is significantly restricted.”
Whelan states that “Irish citizenship is becoming increasingly attractive, with the year 2018 marking a record-breaking year for Irish passports, with 822,581 issued.”
Whelan says that people may be entitled to Irish citizenship by descent, based on their parent’s citizenship or, in some cases, their grandparents’ citizenship.
The Irish government has also reformed and expanded its immigrant investor program this year, which provides Irish residency rights to non-EU nationals investing in Ireland. This serves as an alternative for those seeking to relocate to Ireland but do not yet qualify for a passport.
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