FORMER Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond wishes he had an ‘Irish granny’ so he could apply for an Irish passport to remain an EU citizen post-Brexit.
The ex-SNP leader, who lost his seat at Westminster in Theresa May’s snap election, revealed he would apply for an Irish passport if he could.
Mr Salmond told LBC he had hoped he could become a dual-citizen due to the “uncertainly” caused by Britain’s decision to leave the European Union last year.
Record numbers of Britons have applied for Irish passports following the referendum, with demand up by over 50 per cent in 2017.
More than 100,000 Irish passports were issued in the UK between January and June this year, up from 65,000 during the same period in 2016.
Anyone who has an Irish parent or grandparent born in Ireland is entitled to apply, leading to Mr Salmond lamenting his own lack of Irish ancestry.
He defended the decision many are making to seek Irish citizenship, saying if his grandmother was from Limerick he would apply for dual nationality himself.
“Let me be quite clear, if my granny had been born in Limerick as opposed to Linlithgow, I would be applying for Irish citizenship,” he said.
“That’s dual citizenship at the present moment because of the uncertainty that’s been caused by politicians who have talked a big game on Brexit but haven’t done even the elementary things of securing our position.
“Not just for European nationals living and working in this country, but those looking to the future and want to make sure that future generations the same rights to travel and access to work.
“People who try and attack those as unpatriotic are not facing facts.”
He added: “If you’re looking for a scapegoat, blame the Brexiteers who should’ve thought about this in the first place.”
Earlier this month, a Conservative MEP caused controversy after revealing that he applied for an Irish passport in the wake of the Brexit referendum.
Charles Tannock MEP said Brexit had “awakened his Irishness” and made him “ashamed” to be British.
Mr Tannock, whose grandmother was born in Dublin in 1895 before emigrating to England with her mother, added that his own mother had also applied for a passport.
“I feel more Irish than ever. I am very proud to be Irish," he said.
“I am going on a pilgrimage with my mother because she has also just got an Irish passport. She got hers in Paris.
“We are going on a mother and son pilgrimage to Dublin in the autumn to try and locate the house where her mother was born in 1895.”