An Irish politician has said the government is trying the blame the delay in processing passport application on Northern Ireland residents and Brexit.

Government claims that an increase in Irish passport applications from Northern Ireland has caused the delays is “blaming Brexit for everything” said Sean Fleming, a Fianna Fail TD.

Fleming chairs Ireland's public accounts committee.

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He said the Irish government was unfairly “laying the blame for the delays in passport applications on Northern Ireland residents."

According to the Belfast News Letter, Fleming said the two percent increase in NI applications between 2017 and 2018 was “hardly a considerable surge in the grand scheme of things,” and added: “In 2018, 84,855 applications were received from Northern Ireland residents and in 2017, 83,363 were received, thus representing a 2% increase.

“There had been a substantial increase in applications over the several years prior to this but to use Northern Ireland applications as an excuse for the delays in the Passport Office in 2018 was unfair.

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“This is another example of blaming Brexit for everything instead of the government meeting their responsibilities. Let’s hope the department learn their lessons and that we do not see the same scale of delays in 2019 that we did last year.”

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