Brexit-backing Tory MS reveals he has Irish citizenship
A Brexit-backing Tory Senedd member has revealed he is an Irish citizen.
Darren Millar, the MS for Clwyd West, has retained his EU citizenship, despite voting to take it away from others.
He made the revelation in the Senedd while responding to a speech from First Minister Mark Drakeford, who referred to the work that Welsh Government was doing with the British-Irish Council.
Millar told the Senedd that he is a “proud Irish citizen as well as being a British citizen”, and told the First Minister that he was glad to hear his “references to engagement with Ireland through the British-Irish Council”.
Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth responded to Darren Millar’s revelation with incredulity, saying: “Hadn’t realised that pro-#Brexit Tory Senedd Member Darren Millar is a EU Citizen – he’s just said in the Senedd that he has Irish Citizenship as well as British.
“Alright for some, eh? Still has the freedom of movement/work/study that’s been taken away from my children.”
During a debate in the Senedd, Darren Millar said: “I was very pleased, First Minister, to hear your references to engagement with Ireland through the British-Irish Council and indeed the other work that you’ve been doing.
“Obviously, I’m a proud Irish citizen as well as being a British citizen, and I think that those relationships are extremely important for Wales, given the fact that we have a fellow Celtic nation that wants to engage positively with us, and I think that the collaboration with the Republic of Ireland will be extremely important into the future.
“So, I do look forward to you making further statements on the British-Irish Council, and look forward, hopefully, to the outcome of the inter-governmental review being implemented so that these relationships can prosper in the future.”
‘No fan of the European Union’
Before the EU referendum he wrote on his website: “I love Europe and I believe that nations are stronger when they work together, but I’m no fan of the European Union.
“Our membership of the EU costs taxpayers around £10 billion each year, but it lacks democratic accountability and our membership requires us to open our borders to more than 500 million people, some of whom have taken advantage of our welfare state and our NHS.
“We can ill afford to be sending billions to unelected bureaucrats in Brussels at a time when our schools, hospitals and other public services are feeling the pinch due to pressures on public finances.
“As part of the UK, Wales is a nation in the fifth largest economy in the world; I have every confidence in our ability to thrive outside the EU.
“Leaving the EU would set us free. Free to boost our economy by doing our own trade deals with other parts of the world; free to develop policies which suit Welsh and British farmers, rather than those of France or Germany; and free to control inward migration.
“It’s for these reasons that I’ll be voting to leave the EU in the referendum on the 23rd June and from the conversations I’ve had on the doorsteps during the recent Assembly election campaign it seems that many others in North Wales will be doing likewise.”