Last updated: 04:00 PM ET, Mon August 22 2016

Brexit Uncertainty Leads To Impressive Number Of Continental Passport Queries

Impacting Travel | Gabe Zaldivar | August 22, 2016

Brexit Uncertainty Leads To Impressive Number Of Continental Passport Queries

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Now that the Brexit dust has settled, the British have had some time to take stock of the outcome and ensure that their travel well-being remain intact long after whatever the next chapter in the country’s International relations with European Union might be.

That seems to be exactly what the nation’s citizens are doing according to a Bloomberg report that states countries around Europe received a sudden wave of interest from Britons lobbing passport/citizenship requests at officials to ensure they can still move freely around the continent once Brexit eventually meanders towards the switch that is article 50 of the Lisbon treaty.

What happens then is uncertain, which is one of the reason’s countries have seen a startling interest in passport requests.

Bloomberg spoke with Meghan Benton who is a senior policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute in Washington. Benton explains that many want to ensure what is labeled as “freedom of movement” because of crucial aspects to their life like family that might visit from afar or viable work that takes place abroad.

Benton continues, explaining that there is a more general reason so many have flocked to find out if they can guarantee documents from various countries: “The second group is the interesting group; they’re the people who want the richness of EU citizenship, people who may have never activated their freedom of movement. They probably feel cheated, not wanting to lose their rights.”

The Guardian has a report on a referendum that has seen one prime minister leave, another take his place and a nation standing in absolute bewilderment through it all.

The report signals that the initial throes of a British departure from the European Union has taken place in the form of prime minister Theresa May establishing various ministries to oversee the transition.

However, as the report notes, some estimates put a full Brexit process as taking up to ten years to complete, and, as The Guardian found, a transparent and universally accepted trade agreement is far from agreed upon let alone the intricacies that would establish citizen travel between countries.

Through it all, the entire mess is clouded by uncertainty, which brings us back to Bloomberg’s report.

It seems that diplomatic ambiguity has been a call to action for many.

Johannes Dopsch, of the Austrian Embassy, tells Bloomberg: “We have noticed a steep surge of both inquiries and applications. In the first days after the referendum, phone and e-mail inquiries have increased to more than 100 inquiries per day.”

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Similarly, Sweden saw its application numbers increase seven-times its normal rate around the time of the referendum; Poland has seen its interest go from 111 in the first part of 2016 to 600 following Brexit; and Dutch officials proclaim their increase in interest represents 10 times the normal amount.

Much the same can be said, according to the report, for countries like Finland, Croatia and Greece.

All over the continent officials are fielding questions on passports and citizenship, which is all because the need and urge to travel remains large amid the looming and largely uncertain outcome of Brexit.  


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