Almost 200,000 Irish passport applications were received from U.K. citizens in 2018 as British residents and citizens sought to procure European Union paperwork ahead of Brexit, the government of Ireland reported Monday. The figure, which includes 85,000 applications from citizens of Northern Ireland, who are automatically entitled to both a British and Irish passport, was up 20 percent from the previous year, which was itself a record. Ireland’s relaxed immigration laws mean that anyone who can show that either their parents or grandparents were born in Ireland is entitled to an Irish passport. Irish lawmaker Simon Coveney said the total had risen since the Brexit vote in June 2016.
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