European Union Citizenship

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:15 pm on 7th March 2018.

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Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 2:15 pm, 7th March 2018

There is a little-known anomaly which I and others have been trying to address, and to which the hon. Gentleman alluded inadvertently a moment ago. When the Irish Republic, or the Irish free state as it was then, left the Commonwealth in 1949, the British Government of the time allowed those who had been born in the Republic and had moved to Northern Ireland or elsewhere in the UK to retain their British citizenship. Nowadays, those who were born in the Republic and live in Northern Ireland cannot obtain British passports, although people who have never been to the Republic can obtain Irish passports. In terms of UK citizenship, those people are still somewhat disadvantaged. I appreciate that the hon. Gentleman is talking about EU citizenship, but given his allusion, does he agree that that needs to be addressed?