As the UK prepares to the EU at the end of January 2020, the latest data suggests that Brits afraid of losing freedom of movement within the bloc have looked to bypass Brexit by getting a EU passport.
Since the Brexit vote on June 23, 2016, more than 284,000 British nationals have applied to the 13 EU countries that could provide data, according to the Sunday Times.
For Britons seeking to keep their EU citizenship, Ireland remains the most popular choice. This is the third consecutive year Ireland issued a record number of passports according to a statement from from its foreign affairs department.
In 2019 around 50,000 were granted Irish passports, 10,000 more than in 2018 and more than eight times as many as in 2015.
Germany is also in high demand. Between 2016 and 2018, Germany granted citizenship to 17,000 Britons, or 5,700 per year, compared with an average of just 530 in the three years before Brexit. France issued passports to 1,733 British citizens in 2017, the most recent year for which data are available, up from 374 in 2015.
UK nationals submitted a record number of applications for Swedish passports in 2019, reaching over 4,400 by the end of November. That's more than double the number of applications in 2018. The current processing time for a Swedish passport is about 250 days.
There have been 5,200 applicants to France and more than 1,000 to Cyprus last year. Greece has recorded a 32-fold increase in demand for passports from UK citizens. Belgian and Dutch citizenship applications have each increased more than seven-fold since Brexit.
In 2018, of the 300,000 Britons living in Spain, just 209 applied for citizenship as the country has one of the most demanding processes of gaining EU citizenship by naturalisation.