Brexit: Ireland committed to protecting citizens’ rights in the North of Ireland

Helen McEntire said the Irish government had “noted” there had been an update to the UK immigration rules Image copyright © REUTERS

 

The Irish government has stressed its commitment to protecting the rights of Irish citizens in Northern Ireland.

It follows social media concerns that a change in UK immigration rules could mean some lose rights after Brexit.

Under the Good Friday peace agreement, anyone born in Northern Ireland has the right to be British, Irish or both.

The issue of citizenship was raised the last time Theresa May was in Northern Ireland and she said she would pass the concerns to the Home Office.

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On Wednesday, the issue was raised in the Seanad (Irish senate) by Sinn Féin senator Niall Ó Donnghaile.

He said it was “crunch time” and called on the Irish government to give clarity after the speculation that a “tiered level of citizenship” could come into existence.

In response, Ireland’s European Affairs Minister Helen McEntee, said it was “vitally important” the citizenship and identity provisions of the Good Friday Agreement were upheld.

“We are fully aware of the concerns that have been raised here today and concerns from many that these statements raise for Irish citizens in Northern Ireland particularly, given so much of the uncertainty that surrounds Brexit at the moment,” she said.

Mrs McEntee said her government had “noted” there had been an update to the UK immigration rules “in order to give effect to the UK settled status schemes and the letter from the UK minister of state for immigration, Caroline Nokes”.

“It is important to be clear that these statements in no way change the position that the EU citizenship of Irish citizens in Northern Ireland continues in all circumstances,” she added.

“As EU citizens, they continue to enjoy the right to live and work throughout the EU and the right not to be discriminated against on the grounds of nationality.”

In a statement, the Home Office told the BBC that it respected identity rights, as set out in the Good Friday Agreement in 1998.

With many thanks to: BBCNI for the original story

 

Btexit: No government review into Irish citizens’ rights in the North of Ireland

The government has said it is not carrying out a “formal review” into the post-Brexit rights of Irish citizens who were born in the North of Ireland. Image coy right GETTY IMAGES

 

It follows concerns that a change in UK immigration rules could mean the loss of some rights after Brexit.

Under the Good Friday Agreement, anyone born in Northern Ireland has the right to be British, Irish or both.

The issue of citizenship was raised the last time Theresa May was in Northern Ireland in February.

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Theresa May said she had asked the home secretary to review cases concerning NI-born Irish citizens who had difficulties bringing in family members.

The Scottish National Party (SNP) MP Stuart McDonald raised the matter in a written question. to the House of Commons.

Mr McDonald asked about terms of reference and a time frame for the review to take place.

In response, Immigration Minister Caroline Nokes said the Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, was considering it with the Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley – but there was no timescale for it.

She said Mrs May had asked them to “review the issues, not to conduct a formal review”.

“This work is ongoing, and as the prime minister has said, a solution which complies with the Belfast Agreement will be set out as soon as possible,” Ms Nokes added.

Caroline Noles said Mrs May had asked the Home Secretary to “review the issues, not to conduct a formal review” Image copyright © GETTY IMAGES

 

On Wednesday, the rights issue was raised in the Seanad (Irish senate) by Sinn Féin senator Niall Ó Donnghaile.

He called on the Irish government to give clarity after speculation that a “tiered level of citizenship” could come into existence.

Ireland’s Europe Minister Helen McEntee responded saying the government is committed to protecting the rights of Irish citizens in Northern Ireland.

‘Unwavering commitment’
Last year, the British government announced a settlement scheme to allow EU citizens to stay in the UK after Brexit.

It said people from the Republic of Ireland did not need to apply for settled status – but can do so if they wish.

But the Committee on the Administration of Justice (CAJ) has previously expressed concerns that the Home Office could reject applications from NI-born Irish citizens, who would be applying in order to access EU citizen rights.

The Home Office said it has an “unwavering commitment” to upholding the Good Friday Agreement, including its provisions on citizenship and identity.

With many thanks to: BBCNI and Jayne McCormack Political Reporter for the original story

Michel Barnier rebuffs UK calls for flexibility on the Irish Border

Chief negotiator says EU ready to improve proposal but will not accept British ideas for compromise

Michel Barnier has rebuffed British calls for the European Union to soften its stance on the contested issue of the Irish border and said a “moment of truth” was fast approaching on a Brexit deal.

May will appeal directly to EU leaders at a summit in Salzburg to soften their stance over UK access to the single market and customs union. She is expected to tell them on Wednesday night that Brussels needs to shift. A senior No 10 official said: “To come to a successful conclusion, just as the UK has evolved its position, the EU will need to do the same.”

Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, said the bloc was ready to improve its proposal on avoiding a hard border on the island of Ireland but stopped short of accepting British ideas for compromise, after the Brexit secretary, Dominic Raab, called on the EU to show flexibility.

“The European council in October will be the moment of truth, it is the moment when we shall see if we have an agreement,” Barnier said.

The Irish border has emerged as the biggest stumbling block to the Brexit deal that Theresa May hopes to strike with the EU this autumn. While the EU and UK have agreed there should be no hard border to prevent any return to violence, they are deadlocked over how to manage what will become a 310-mile frontier between the UK and EU.

Both sides have proposed fallback plans, known as backstops, that would kick into place if trade talks fail to settle the question. The EU’s involves Northern Ireland following EU law on customs and goods, a plan May has said no British prime minister could ever accept.

Barnier said the EU was working to improve its proposal, adding that the problem had been caused by “the UK’s decision to leave the EU, its single market and the customs union”. Seeking to counter British criticism that the EU plan eroded UK sovereignty, he said: “What we talking about here is not a land border, not a sea border, it is a set of technical checks and controls. We respect the territorial integrity of the UK and we respect the constitutional order of the UK.”

Barnier was speaking after a 90-minute meeting with the EU’s 27 European affairs ministers at a summit in Brussels. Many countries intervened in the debate to stress the importance of reaching a deal and its timing.

Ireland’s deputy prime minister, Simon Coveney, got a full update from Barnier on the backstop developments and later described his meeting as “excellent”. The Irish cabinet had earlier agreed to hire 451 new staff for border duties out of a total of 1,077 needed for ports and airports.

Ireland is among several EU countries concerned that having an emergency summit in November will take the pressure off the British in the coming weeks.

May will appeal to EU leaders at a summit in Salzburg to soften their stance over UK access to the single market and customs union. She is expected to tell them on Wednesday night that Brussels needs to shift. A senior No 10 official said: “To come to a successful conclusion, just as the UK has evolved its position, the EU will need to do the same.”

Downing Street believes that the UK has developed its negotiating position to reach the Chequers plan and it is now time for other EU countries to show some flexibility in order to finally strike a deal. The prime minister will argue that with “goodwill and determination” the UK and the EU could avoid a “disorderly” Brexit that would be damaging for both sides and instead strike a deal that benefited both.

“Neither side can demand the ‘unacceptable’ of the other, such as an external customs border between different parts of the United Kingdom. No other country would accept it if they were in the same situation,” she will say.

May will tell her fellow leaders that the EU’s current proposal does not respect the constitutional and economic integrity of the UK as it effectively suggests a customs border down the Irish Sea with its backstop plan.

She is expected to deny suggestions by EU officials that the UK is attempting to cherry-pick by seeking the rights of membership without the obligations.

“That is not what we are doing,” she will say. “What we are proposing is a fair arrangement that will work for the EU’s economy as well as the UK’s, without undermining the single market.”

No 10 has been cautiously optimistic in recent days that the UK can expect a softening of tone at the Salzburg summit from some EU leaders who are keen to nail down a Brexit deal this autumn.

It remains to be seen whether that translates into a shift in negotiating position from Brussels, where officials have been more sceptical. The EU27 will wait to discuss next steps, including whether to relax Barnier’s negotiating mandate, until May has left the room.

Meanwhile, Brussels is preparing to step up its legal action against the UK in a case of alleged customs fraud. The European commission has accused HM Revenue and Customs of negligence in controls that enabled Chinese fraudsters to evade duties, causing a €2.7bn (£2.4bn) loss to the EU budget.

The commission will announce the next step in the process on Wednesday, the final stage before it can take the government to the European court of justice.

Brussels launched the action in March, and British officials see the timing of the latest move – on the eve of the Salzburg summit – as provocative. “I can only speculate on the reasons, but it seems pretty obvious what is going on,” a No 10 insider said.

A government spokesman said: “The UK does not accept liability for the alleged losses or recognise the estimate of alleged duty evaded. We take customs fraud very seriously and we continue to evolve our response as new threats emerge.”

The alleged fraud has raised tensions between the EU and UK, contributing to mistrust about British officials’ ability to collect duties on behalf of the bloc, as proposed by the government in its unprecedented customs partnership.

With many thanks to: The Guardian for the original story.

Michael Campbell and the EU Presidency: Lithuanian hypocrisy !!!!

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Rsf Mayo

On July 1, Lithuania has taken the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from the 26 Counties Administration in Dublin for the coming twelve months. On this day, the programme of the Lithuanian EU-Presidency has been published in Brussels. Referring to the illegal treatment of republican prisoner Michael Campbell and the inhumane treatment in prison, Republican Sinn Féin International Spokesperson Dieter Blumenfeld called the programme of the Lithuanian EU-Presidency as “pure hypocrisy”.

The programme of the Lithuanian EU-Presidency vows to safeguard “that the EU institutions remain active in their protection of fundamental human rights both within the EU and abroad“. The programme continues: “Regarding the Southern neighbourhood, Lithuania will support the EU focus on more effective implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy aiming at promoting democracy and inclusive and sustainable growth, based on promotion of human rights, especially the equal rights and freedoms of women, as well as closer cooperation with civil society.“ Furthermore the documents claims: “The EU is ready to take on leadership in protecting human rights.“

The chapter D “Justice and Home Affairs” starts with: “The Council dedicates particular attention to the protection of interests and the needs of citizens and other EU residents, in order to ensure respect for fundamental human rights and freedoms.”

In a statement, Dieter Blumenfeld, International Spokesperson of Republican Sinn Féin, said: “The whole document is pure hypocrisy. While the EU and the current EU-Presidency of Lithuania try to play the role of heralds of human rights and democracy, they hold an innocent Irish citizen under inhumane conditions in Lithuania. Not just that his basic human rights are continuously denied by the very government that produced this document. Michael Campbell should have never been sentenced in the first place. The whole process of coercion, incitement and setting traps is unlawful as such.

“While we demand the repatriation of Irish republican Michael Campbell, we are very aware of the fact that Michael Campbell should have never been sentenced in the first place. The whole court case was a farce, disreputable for a so-called democratic state in the 21st century. Thus, we call on all Irish republicans and their supporters in Europe and elsewhere to put pressure on the Lithuanian government. The unlawful refusal of Michael Campbell’s basic human rights must end immediately! We ask all our supporters to write letters to the Lithuanian embassy and consulate in your countries and demand justice for Irish republican prisoner Michael Campbell. We ask you to raise the case of Michael Campbell among your family, friends and in your workplace. Contact local, regional and national media outlets.

“Only a campaign of international pressure on the Lithuanian government can and ultimately will achieve justice and the repatriation of Michael Campbell”, Republican Sinn Féin International Spokesperson Dieter Blumenfeld said.

Críoch/Ends.

Repatration Campaign welcomes Council move

Repatriate Michael Campbell - BRING HIM HOME

Kevin Kinsy Kinsella > Cumann na saoirse Alba

Repatriation campaign welcomes council move

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

COUNCIL support for the repatriation of Michael Campbell has been warmly welcomed by those behind the campaign.

Campbell is currently serving a 12-year sentence in Lithuania on a conviction of supporting a terrorist organisation. But the Faughart man is seeking leave to see out his sentence in Ireland.

Praising the “informative and coherent debate” surrounding the issue, a spokesman for campaign said its driving force “has always been the humanitarian aspect”.

“Thus all support for this campaign is a declaration of support for human rights,” he said.

“The Humanitarian aspect of the entire campaign is both the principle and the priority.”

Meanwhile, the Lithuanian Appeals Court has pledged to hear final submissions in the case on August 30, after which a judgement will be made.

“Should the Judgment of the appeals court be accepted by the Lithuanian Prosecutor then Michael can be repatriated forthwith,” the campaign spokesman said.

“If however the Lithuanian Prosecutor decides to appeal this judgment and bring it to a higher court then that decision would determine Michael remaining in Lithuanian custody for at least another two years.

“Principally however Michael Campbell is an Irish Citizen and, as an Irish Citizen held captive in another European Union state, it is within the remit of the Irish Government to have him repatriated at a time of their choosing. “Michael could be repatriated immediately as the Irish government would uphold and implement any sentence handed down by the Lithuanian courts.”

http://www.newrydemocrat.com/articles/news/34813/repatriation-campaign-welcomes-council-move/

ARMING REBELS IN SYRIA ‘ NOT THE ANSWER ‘ !!!

THE UNITED NATIONS peace envoy to Syria said he could see no swift end to textremelyrutal civil war and urged the international community to increase diplomatic pressure on the regime. ” I’m afraid I do not expect miracles any time soon,” Lakhdar Brahimi said.

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But he insisted arming the rebels – a move being contemplated byieen and France – was not the solution. Mr Brahimi said the situation on the ground was ” extremely bad and getting worse all the time “. He said he had no contact with Syrian preident Bashar Assad since the end of December. ” I haven’t seen and I do not see any improvement. Each one of them, I think, still beleives that military victory is possible for their side,” he said. ” And therefore, the intensity of the intensity of the fighting is increasing and exspanding. ” I consider it a given the Syrian parties at present are not capable of solving the problem themselves. ” My hope and also my polite criticism is really to the international community – to the Security Council members, in particular to China and to Russia and the United States.

” I think they should be talking to one another with much, much more urgency and perhapes taking some decisions going to the Security Council and speaking to the parties and to the region in much more forceful terms than they have until now.” London and Paris are facing stiff resistance within the EU to calls for an arms embargo to be lifted to allow weapons to be sent to opposition forces – a move approved in recent days by the Arab League. Mr Brahimi said that was ” not the way ” to end the conflict. ” Pouring more arms to the opposition would bring more arms to the government and that will not solve the problem,” he said. He accepted that conditions for refugees were ” extremely bad ” but said the resources were simply not there to deal with the scale of the humanitarian crisis. The number fleeing the violence is projected to have trebled to three million by the end of the year. ” With all admiration, respect and gratitude for the generosity of the international community, I don’t think the international community is going to be able to provide 1.5 billion dollers every six months for the Syrians,” he said. So it is desperately urgent that some real work is done by everybody to get control over the situation inside Syria and bring this conflict to an end.”

With many thanks to : Irish News.

VOTE NO ! 2 FISCAL TREATY !

POSTED ON BEHALF OF : R.S.F.https://www.facebook.com/rsf.clondalkin1.

RSF.ie

WWW.nofiscaltreaty.net.