Irish, or British or both: Citizenship, identity and Brexit

Irish, or British or both:  Citizenship, identity and Brexit


‘…Personally, I identify as Irish but
also as Northern Irish and certainly as European. And I think that’s why from my political
perspective Europe was always a fundamental part of the solution to hear that you can
be Irish or British or both and European Union. It allows people to have a regional identity
and that kind of a blurred identity. And I think the common membership of the European
Union allowing Dublin and London to work together as equals and neighbours were one of the things
that helped to soften the relationship here. Of course, because of the Good Friday Agreement
people born here will always be entitled to both Irish and British citizenship. And that
for some people will take the sting out of Brexit. But I think it in many ways will make
people of Irish identity and an Irish Nationalist identity probably firmer in that identity
because the UK that was outward looking, that was Social Democratic, that was part of the
European Union was a more comfortable place to be. And if that changes quite dramatically
people will realign themselves a little bit more on a north/south basis. But equally, there are people who are unionist,
feel British but are attached to their European identity. Many of whom might access an Irish
passport for practical reasons to get through the airport more quickly and so on. But I
think people’s identities aren’t as fluid as they once were in Northern Ireland’ ‘Well, from my perspective I would sort
of quote John Hewitt, well actually paraphrase John Hewitt and make it slightly differently
than that. You know, I see myself as being British. I see myself as being Northern Irish.
I see myself as being Irish. I also see myself as being a European. And I also see myself
being a citizen of the wider world. And that’s the thing about Northern Ireland,
because for many people in Northern Ireland that is the case. They see themselves as British.
They see themselves as Irish. They see themselves as Northern Irish. They see themselves as
a bit of everything. And that was the beauty of the Good Friday Agreement, and it was the
Good Friday Agreement remember that our party, the Ulster Unionist Party then led by David
Trimble, that was part and parcel of where we go to. Because it was trying to park the
question of identity so we would be able to move on.’ Every bone in my body, every breath that I
take I am Irish through and through. I have an Irish diplomatic passport and I
have my own Irish passport. We live in the north of Ireland. It is still,
you know, we have got a thing called the Principle Consent built into the Good Friday Agreement
in the event of there being a border poll and Irish unity. And we have signed up to
work with, trying to bring the people to that point where we get agreement on the island
of Ireland. But that we can identify ourselves as British and Irish and both. But as I was saying, whether you’re British
or Irish or both, I don’t want any second class citizenship here. These people are entitled
to have both. So, the 1.8 million people here are entitled to EU protection, whether they
hold an Irish passport or not. Because they have been afforded the right to have that. Do you see yourself as an Irish citizen who
also happens to be an EU citizenship or do you see yourself as Irish and European? I see myself as Irish. And I see myself as
an Irish citizen who has got afforded rights by being a member of the EU. Undeniably British. Do you see yourself as an Ulsterman and British,
Irish and British or…? No, I probably define myself as British but,
depending on which sporting event was taking place at the time I be might more Northern
Ireland than the rest of the UK or British. But if anybody asks me, from abroad ever asks
me where do you come from I would say I come from the United Kingdom. I don’t even specify
from Northern Ireland. I travel on a British passport. I regard myself
as a British citizen and I’m very, very proud of my British history. Did you feel any sense European? Any part
of your identity in Europe? No, I don’t. I enjoy travelling in Europe.
And, you know, I would hope that when we leave the EU I will continue to take my holidays
in different parts of Europe. Ride my motorbike across Europe. Not stopping at borders?
Buy European goods where they are price competitive, etc. But I don’t feel that means that I
have to remain part of the European Union. Get more from the Open University Check out the links on screen now

Comments

  1. Post
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    James Dalton

    The last person in this Video Sammy Wilson , responded " go to the Chippy" to another MP who was discussing food shortages post Brexit . A dangerous man. He is from the North of Ireland yet calls himself British , travels on a UK passport , tells people he is from the UK. The UK is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. He is not British by definition , he is a United Kingdomer. Britain is Scotland, Wales and England only.

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    Matthew Davenport

    Why can't it just revert back to the common travel area after brexit as this was in place before joining the eu?

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    WingIT Productions

    I weep for Ireland. Government is supposed to protect its citizens, not make policies that will ensure its demise. Remember your patriots. Ireland for the Irish. Trade with other nations. Don't submit and be occupied. Demographics is destiny.

  8. Post
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    lindowan123

    I wonder if the people who claim the Irish (ROI) Identity will also be so fervent in disclaiming their Social Security, Health and Unemployment Benefits from the British Government.

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    Martin Mendiola

    Just came here because I got curious what would happen to the Irish citizens after brexit if it happens (idk why there are the northern and the republic? American here so don't hate)

  10. Post
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    Jack The Film Fanatic

    Sinn Fein, Martina Anderson trying to play that card that catholics are still second class citizens. Absolute nonsense they were for a long time which was wrong but they are not second class citizens anymore I for one am tired of that argument they only say it so that they can get votes.

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