Underlying immigration fears driving last week’s Brexit vote have backfired into fears of emigration, as thousands of Britons now scour the world for alternative nationalities.
With political turmoil erupting since David Cameron’s resignation and Scotland and Northern Ireland threatening to split off and attempt to remain in the E.U., many Britons are exploring other citizenships that guarantee greater job opportunities in a freer global economy than in what they see as a post-Brexit, isolated Britain.
Ireland’s passport office in London received 4,000 immigration inquiries on Monday alone, up from the average of 200, the Times of London reports. For three days following the Brexit referendum, U.K. visitors to New Zealand’s immigration site spiked from an average 2,000 to 5,500 per day. Canada saw a surge of 325% in online inquiries in the 24 hours after the decision. Similar inquiries made to Australian authorities rose 118%.
In a call out, the Guardian heard from 1,500 Britons seeking dual nationality.
Once the U.K. formally divorces itself from the E.U. — projected to take about two years — free movement of labor will come to a halt.
“A British passport when you can’t travel and work anywhere else in the E.U. is not worth as much,” a British mother living in the Netherlands told BBC. “We’d like our children to have those chances too, to move and work, encounter cultures, and have job opportunities you simply wouldn’t have in the United Kingdom.”
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