English advocates mutual recognition of Irish and UK citizenships post Brexit

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Monday, 27th March 2017

English advocates mutual recognition of Irish and UK citizenships post Brexit

Damien English, Meath West Fine Gael TD and Minister for Housing and
Urban Renewal, has advocated the mutual recognition by Ireland and the
United Kingdom of each other’s citizenships on a Bi-Lateral basis.

Minister English believes this as a solution to some of the challenges
that will face both countries post Brexit.

Minister English made his remarks in the week that British Prime
Minister Theresa May triggers Article 50 at a Fine Gael public meeting
on Brexit in the Newgrange Hotel in Navan on Monday night.  The
meeting was arranged for members of the public from the constituencies
of Meath West and Meath East.

“Irish and UK citizenships are already quite comparable.  For
instance, we afford each other similar voting rights, there are also
certain historic pre-EU rights in terms of passports and residency.
Many Irish people worked in the UK before returning home, and many
people in border counties still work in the North every day. All of
these people are worried about their current and future pension
entitlements”.

“Many Irish students study in the North or on the mainland UK, and
would face crippling international student fees post Brexit. In light
of our enormous shared history with the UK, our volume of trade,
coupled with our common interest in the North and in so many areas
like co-operation in health services, I believe there is a compelling
case for a Bi-Lateral deal between the two counties on citizenship”.

“Such a deal would be in relation to areas that have not been devolved
to EU level, and as such would be outside the remit of the direct
EU/UK talks” Minister English told the Fine Gael public meeting on
Brexit.

“Additionally, Fine Gael in Government will be working with every
sector of the economy and the public service in planning to ensure
Ireland retains its competitive edge in research and innovation as
well as FDI in a post Brexit EU” Minister English concluded.

English says calm heads needed in wake of Brexit vote

European issues

Tuesday, 28th June 2016

Local Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal and Meath West Fine Gael
T.D. Damien English has called for calm heads in the wake of the
Brexit vote.

“We need calm heads at this time. The departure of the United Kingdom
from the European Union will take at least 2 years once Article 50 of
the Lisbon Treaty is invoked. Prime Minister Cameron has indicated he
will not invoke it, and will wait for his successor to do so once he
steps down by October. So the first message and most important message
is that there is no immediate change” Minister English said.

“Naturally, we in Ireland must defend Irish interests.  The Taoiseach
has made it very clear that we will be in the room fighting for the
best deal possible for Ireland, both North and South.  I believe the
UK’s departure must be worked out in a calm, ordered way, and in a
pragmatic way.  Now is not the the time for punishment or point
scoring.

“I believe that all Irish state agencies should now gear up for a
major marketing push for Irish exports, and push Ireland heavily as an
investment location of choice, to take advantage of business
opportunities now possible with the UK’s intended departure. In my
role as Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal I shall be working
closely with my colleague MInister Simon Coveney to ensure our housing
situation, construction sector and high quality office space sector
are capable of meeting this potential new demand.

“Finally, it is very important to note that the European Union is the
biggest and most successful peace project in history.  Western Europe
has not known war for over 70 years now.  Our prosperity rests on this
fact. Politicians of the centre in Ireland, the UK and Europe must
work harder than ever to make sure the progress of the last 70 years
is not lost to a narrow type of nationalism, or extremes of the left
or right wing” concluded Minister English.