British-Irish govt proposals published



McSlaggart

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If only we could but the RHI inquiry will drag her to sea like a big crocodile would-
She will not go to jail and her party will probably keep her as their leader for at least another year. I honestly do not know who in the DUP would make a good leader?
 

michael-mcivor

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She will not go to jail and her party will probably keep her as their leader for at least another year. I honestly do not know who in the DUP would make a good leader?
Arlene is UUP- but Boris is Tory Unionist leader- I propose Boris takes over the sinking DUP boat-
 

livingstone

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Go on post up your evidence to support your claim.
For someone born in Northern Ireland (or the Republic for that matter), they will only automatically be an Irish citizen if the have a parent who is an Irish citizen.

Most people alive would still have their citizenship determined under Irish law under the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956. That provided for anyone born in the Republic to be automatically granted citizenship at birth (per section 6(1) of that Act), but automatic citizenship for people born in Northern Ireland was contingent on them declaring themselves, or being declared by their parent, to be an Irish citizen (per s7(1) of that Act).

That remained the position until the 2004 citizenship referendum - i.e. born in the Republic = automatic Irish citizenship regardless of parents' nationality; born in NI = Irish citizenship if the parent or individual declares themselves to be an Irish citizen.

The consequence was that someone in Northern Ireland who was a unionist or identified as British, or simply did not want to hold Irish citizenship, did not have to do anything proactive to avoid it. They simply refrained from undergoing the process required in s7(1) of the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act 1956.

So let's take a practical example. Arlene Foster was born to parents who were born in Northern Ireland and did not hold Irish citizenship. She was entitled to Irish citizenship if she wanted it, but she didn't have to do anything to renounce Irish citizenship: she simply never held it because neither she nor her parents declared her to be Irish.

By contrast, she did obtain British citizenship automatically, because she was born in the UK to parents who were either British citizens or legally settled in the UK.
 

livingstone

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How would some NI people be exclusively British, according to Irish law, unless they had specifically contacted Dublin to renounce their Irish birthright?
Per my last post, the default position of someone born in Northern Ireland to either British citizens or people legally resident and settled in the UK was that they would hold British citizenship.

They were entitled to hold Irish citizenship, but only if they (or their parents) took active steps to acquire it. So British or unionist people of Northern Ireland did not hold Irish citizenship unless they actively acquired it.

So a person born in NI (to British citizens or permanent residents of NI) who wanted to hold only Irish citizenship always have to renounce British citizenship. But a person born in NI (to British citizens of permanent residents of NI) who wanted to hold only British citizenship would never have to renounce Irish citizenship unless they themselves (or their parents on their behalf) had actively chosen to acquire it.

You can believe - as I do- that this is a necessary element of citizenship law to avoid statelessness. But it is simply incorrect to pretend that the onus on people wanting to hold exclusively British citizenship is the same as those wanting to hold exclusively Irish citizenship.
 

McSlaggart

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For someone born in Northern Ireland (or the Republic for that matter), they will only automatically be an Irish citizen if the have a parent who is an Irish citizen.

FYI: We all know this and it implicit in any conversation.
 

McSlaggart

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So a person born in NI (to British citizens or permanent residents of NI) who wanted to hold only Irish citizenship always have to renounce British citizenship.

Do you think unionists will need to renounce their Irish citizenship?
 

livingstone

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Do you think unionists will need to renounce their Irish citizenship?
If they want to hold only British citizenship?

They'd only need to do that if they were born after 2004 with one parent holding Irish citizenship, or born before 2004 and have made (or had made on their behalf) a declaration that they were Irish.

Both of those are relatively unlikely for most unionists, so no - if a Unionist wanted to be exclusively British, in most cases that is likely to be their default citizenship anyway, so no specific action needed.
 

livingstone

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FYI: We all know this and it implicit in any conversation.
I'm not sure it is implicit - the poster I was discussing this with seemed to think that all people of NI, including British identifying/unionist people of NI, would hold Irish citizenship and therefore would have to renounce it if they wanted to hold only British citizenship.

So I'm trying to be as clear as possible what the situation is for the benefit of that poster, at least, who's been getting it wrong.
 

McSlaggart

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I'm not sure it is implicit - the poster I was discussing this with seemed to think that all people of NI, including British identifying/unionist people of NI, would hold Irish citizenship and therefore would have to renounce it if they wanted to hold only British citizenship.

So I'm trying to be as clear as possible what the situation is for the benefit of that poster, at least, who's been getting it wrong.

The idea was to make this flexible ie constructive ambiguity. The problem has arisen due to the British government trying to redefine the terms of the good Friday agreement.
 

livingstone

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The idea was to make this flexible ie constructive ambiguity. The problem has arisen due to the British government trying to redefine the terms of the good Friday agreement.
But it hasn't done that.

Nothing in the GFA says or suggests that the right to hold exclusively Irish citizenship should mean having to do nothing at all to bring that situation about.

Look at it a different way: let's say the son of two unionists who hold only British citizenship grows up and decides he is both Irish and British, and wants to exercise his right under the GFA to Irish citizenship (his British citizenship was conferred automatically in law). Under Irish law, he is not automatically an Irish citizen, so he has to take some step to acquire Irish citizenship.

Do you think the Irish Government has 'redefined the terms of the Good Friday Agreement' because they require some active step on his part to obtain Irish citizenship in line with his GFA rights?

It is actually you that is redefining the terms of the GFA by suggesting that the citizenship rights are not the right to hold a particular form of citizenship, but a right to hold a particular form of citizenship automatically.
 

recedite

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That remained the position until the 2004 citizenship referendum - i.e. born in the Republic = automatic Irish citizenship regardless of parents' nationality; born in NI = Irish citizenship if the parent or individual declares themselves to be an Irish citizen.
Not quite that simple, one parent would have to be Irish for automatic entitlement.
 

McSlaggart

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It is actually you that is redefining the terms of the GFA by suggesting that the citizenship rights are not the right to hold a particular form of citizenship, but a right to hold a particular form of citizenship automatically.
1 an Irish citizen born in the six counties is the same as anyone born in any other county.

2. If a child is born in Belfast to parents who live in Dublin and are Irish citizens is it automatically a British citizen?
 

livingstone

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1 an Irish citizen born in the six counties is the same as anyone born in any other county.
Not in terms of citizenship, it is not. That child will automatically hold British citizenship as well as Irish citizenship (assuming one of its parents is an Irish citizen).

2. If a child is born in Belfast to parents who live in Dublin and are Irish citizens is it automatically a British citizen?
No.
 

recedite

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So let's take a practical example. Arlene Foster was born to parents who were born in Northern Ireland and did not hold Irish citizenship. She was entitled to Irish citizenship if she wanted it, but she didn't have to do anything to renounce Irish citizenship: she simply never held it because neither she nor her parents declared her to be Irish.
By contrast, she did obtain British citizenship automatically, because she was born in the UK to parents who were either British citizens or legally settled in the UK.
Fair enough. But if one of Arlene's parents had been an Irish citizen, then she would too, whether she liked it or not. That's my understanding of it, but I'm open to correction. But a person in that situation could take the trouble of repudiating their automatic entitlement of Irish citizenship, if they wanted to.
 

livingstone

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Fair enough. But if one of Arlene's parents had been an Irish citizen, then she would too, whether she liked it or not. That's my understanding of it, but I'm open to correction. But a person in that situation could take the trouble of repudiating their automatic entitlement of Irish citizenship, if they wanted to.
If Arlene was born post 2004 that is correct.

Before 2004 it didn't matter what her parents' nationality was - unless Arlene (as an adult) or her parents on her behalf (as a child) declared her to be Irish, she would not hold Irish citizenship. So she would have nothing to renounce unless she or her parents had acquired it in the first place.

And lets imagine that Arlene were actually only 15 years old - even then, she would only automatically acquire Irish citizenship if one of her parents were an Irish citizen. Of course for most British people/Unionists in NI, that is very unlikely to be the case. So again, the hypothetical 15 year old Arlene would have nothing to renounce unless one of her parents were Irish.

Which brings us back to your sauce for the goose and sauce for the gander comment. The point is that the sauce is very very different. Someone wanting to hold only Irish citizenship will always have to renounce British citizenship; while someone wanting to hold only British citizenship will very rarely have to renounce Irish citizenship.
 

McSlaggart

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Not in terms of citizenship, it is not. That child will automatically hold British citizenship as well as Irish citizenship (assuming one of its parents is an Irish citizen).



No.

Go on give us the explanation of why you think it would be different?
 

livingstone

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Go on give us the explanation of why you think it would be different?
I’ve already explained this. British citizenship based on place of birth is contingent on being born to either a British citizen or someone legally and permanently resident in the UK. Being born to Irish citizens visiting from Dublin doesn’t qualify.

A child born in Belfast to Irish citizen parents who lived in Belfast (either because they are people of NI or because they are legally and permanently resident there) would automatically acquire both British and Irish citizenship.

A child born in Belfast to Irish citizen parents who were visiting from Dublin would automatically acquire Irish citizenship but not British citizenship.
 


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