Gregory Campbell raises British passport anomaly

DUP East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has led a debate in Westminster Hall regarding access to British passports for people born in the Irish Republic but now living in Northern Ireland.

By Gregory Campbell MP

East Londonderry

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Mr Campbell said,

“This issue unites people of all backgrounds in Northern Ireland with the DUP, SDLP, Alliance, Conservatives and Labour all agreed that it needs resolved. It is uncontroversial with everyone except, the Home Office. It was first raised by me in 2005 via a private members bill which had insufficient parliamentary time but remains unsolved.

People in Northern Ireland can be British, Irish or Northern Irish. Residents in Northern Ireland can apply for an Irish passport with no additional cost or form filling, yet people born in the Republic of Ireland but have chosen to then live in Northern Ireland, cannot have similar access to a British passport.

The law in the UK makes provision for anyone born before 1949 in the Republic of Ireland with associations with the UK to become a British subject.

Those born in the Republic after 1949, even if they have lived in the UK all their lives since, paying UK taxes all their lives, voting in UK elections, sitting in the House of Lords, cannot avail of a British passport without going through the expensive procedure of applying for naturalisation, current cost around £1,330.

It is incredible that no naturalisation fee is required to secure an Irish passport, yet it requires such a fee to secure a British passport. This is a disgraceful position to have left people in who demand to be recognised as British. The Minister needs to reassess the Home Office's approach to this and remedy a continuing wrong as a matter of urgency.”

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