MPs are applying for Irish passports after Brexit

British politicians are seeking dual Irish citizenship in the wake of the Brexit vote

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Indy Politics

MPs and peers are applying for Irish passports in the hope that they can retain EU citizenship after the UK leaves the European Union.

More than ten MPs and members of the House of Lords have applied for dual citizenship since the referendum vote three months ago, according to a report in The Times.

Dual citizenship with an EU country would allow British passport holders to retain their right to live and work across the European Union. 

It is within the rules for a Member of Parliament to hold dual nationality, but Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson recently felt compelled to give up his dual citizenship with the United States.

The prominent Leave campaigner and Labour MP, Gisela Stuart, for example, was born in Germany but gave up her German citizenship on election to the House of Commons in the 1990s, when it was not permitted for members to retain two nationalities..

But Conservative Eurosceptic MP Andrew Bridgen told The Times: "If people are elected to represent the UK and now decide they want to be a foreign national then that's a bit of a stab in the back for us. Perhaps they should also take a share of southern Irish debt. I think they should immediately stand down from the House of Commons if they have done that. They can then go and stand for the Irish senate instead."

Gisela Stuart said: "I think the whole issue is a deeply curious one but this is more a question for the host country — Ireland — than the individuals who make the deeply personal decision to switch. More than twice the population of Ireland are entitled to a passport if they want one, so that's a challenge for them."

British applications for Irish passports at the Irish Embassy in London doubled in August, to 6,710. Applications also rose in Northern Ireland by 80 per cent.

Since the vote, Brexit campaigners, including Nigel Farage have led calls for the return of blue passports for British nationals.