Northern Ireland-born British and Irish win EU citizenship rights

The UK government forced to change its position:

All British and Irish citizens born in Northern Ireland will be be treated as EU citizens for immigration purposes, the government has announced after a landmark court case involving a Derry woman over the residency rights of her US-born husband.

The move is a major victory for Emma de Souza ending a three-year battle to be recognised by the Home Office as Irish, a right enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement (GFA).

De Souza said: “This is great news. To get a concession from the British government and a change in the immigration law is no small feat.

“It is incredibly satisfying to be considered as EU citizens and will be a great help to all the other families in my situation.”

Her husband, Jake, will now be allowed to remain in the UK indefinitely if he applies for the EU settlement scheme, an immigration status for all EU citizens wanting to remain in the UK post-Brexit.

The Home Office made its rule change in parliament on Thursday, finally bringing immigration law into line with the 1998 peace deal, which allows anyone born in Northern Ireland to be British, Irish or both.

Source: Northern Ireland-born British and Irish win EU citizenship rights

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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