Thursday, December 22, 2005


Thursday Thoughts: British citizenship

Nothing to fear Yesterday in this post I highlighted how 25,000 Irish people in the North are set to be issued with Irish passports.

In the comments section of the post, I felt wulfbeorn brought up a great point:

"This is good news. Now is there any reason why we can't have British citizenship rights granted to people in the Republic?"

I personally feel granting British citizenship rights to people in the Republic would be a great move but, as I pointed out in the comments section, I don't see how this could be achieved without Ireland rejoining the Commonwealth.

I' sure visitors to United Irelander are aware that I support Ireland rejoining the Comonwealth. Leaving the Commonwealth did more harm than good and led to the British bringing about the Ireland Act which led to the demise of the last official links between Ireland's north and south. Fine Gael soon realised they had made a grievous error in taking Ireland out of the association.

As someone who favours a United Ireland, I think rejoining the Commonwealth would be both a great way of rectifying the foolish decision to leave, as well as a great way of legitimising British citizenship for those Irish people in the Republic who may desire it.

If a United Ireland is to occur, it can't be based on an ethnic model. It must be a United Ireland that both respects and protects Irishness and Britishness. Unionists will not countenance a United Ireland that won't acknowledge their right to be British. And why should they?

The Republic of Ireland needs to prove to the unionists in Ireland's north that it respects their tradition and that in a new 32 county State, they will be respected just like everybody else. Allowing people in the south to claim British citizenship would be a good way of showing unionists that Britishness is respected.

If rejoining the Commonwealth can give us the benefit of British citizenship for Irish people in the Republic who desire it, then I think it's a move worth considering.

What do you think?


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

© 2008 United Irelander.