To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the number of passports issued by his department from 1 January to date in 2016; the way in which this figure compares with 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Darragh O'Brien.
The number of passports issued in 2015 was 672,760. The number of passports issued to 13 December 2016 is 719,675. It is projected that by the end of 2016 the Passport Service will issue almost 740,000 passports. This would represent an increase in applications of 10% on 2015.
Underlying demand for passports in 2016 was already running at an increase of over 9% on 2015 before the Brexit referendum. This was in part driven by an increase in outbound travel, the Euros 2016 as well as a spike in applications in 2006 feeding through in the ten year renewal cycle.