The number of Britons wanting to renounce their citizenship soared to a 13-year-high in the wake of the Brexit referendum, a new report has shown.

According to a Freedom Of Information request by the Best for Britain campaign group, subsequently obtained by Business Insider, 741 Britons applied to hand in their passports in 2016.

The figure marked a 73% increase from the previous 12 months and was the highest number on record since 2003, when the public opinion of the government plummeted following the invasion of Iraq.

Tim Farron, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats, said the figures ought to be a major concern for Theresa May and her cabinet.

"People giving up our passport, be it maroon, black, or blue, is someone handing back part of themselves," Farron was quoted as saying.

"People want Britain to be open, tolerant and united, and Brexit is ripping that all apart."

However, the Home Office insisted the sharp increase in Britons wanting to give up their citizenship had nothing to do with Britain's impending exit from the European Union.

"Given the yearly variation, it is not possible to draw meaningful conclusions from the figures of those giving up their British Citizenship," a spokesperson for the Home Office said.

"There are a number of reasons why someone may seek to renounce British Citizenship, such as becoming a national of a country that does not allow dual citizenship."

The statement, however, contrasts with figures released by the Irish and French governments, which showed the number of Britons applying for a passport in either of the two countries has soared in the 18 months since the Brexit referendum.

In October, the Irish embassy in London confirmed it had received 9,000 citizenship applications last year, marking a staggering 1,025% increase.

Earlier this week, France's interior ministry said the number of Britons applying for French citizenship increased eightfold since the run-up to the Brexit referendum.

In 2015, 386 Britons applied for French citizenship. The following year, when the Brexit referendum was held, the number of applications rose to 1,363 and then to 3,173 in 2017.

Over the same period, the number of UK nationals who were granted French citizenship rose from 320 to 1,518.

While not all the new applications might be motivated by Britain's decision to leave the EU, the vote has certainly played a major role in a new pattern emerging in EU member states. Since the referendum, the number of British citizens applying for citizenship has increased nearly eightfold in Italy, fivefold in Germany, and doubled or trebled in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands and Austria.