Tory MS makes ‘no apologies’ for retaining Irish citizenship despite backing Brexit
A Tory Senedd member has said he makes “no apologies” after he was criticised for retaining his Irish citizenship despite backing Brexit.
Darren Millar, who represents Clwyd West, came under fire from Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth for keeping his EU citizenship, while voting to take it away from others.
But the Conservative MS hit back saying he “will make no apologies for being Irish” and that he is “proud of” his “Irish heritage and citizenship”.
He also claimed that Rhun ap Iorwerth “loves the sound of his own voice”.
Millar referred to his Irish citizenship in the Senedd while responding to a speech from First Minister Mark Drakeford, who spoke about the work that Welsh Government was doing with the British-Irish Council.
Plaid Cymru Deputy Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth responded to Darren Millar’s speech 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.”
In response Darren Millar said: “I’m surprised that my news of my Irish heritage came as a revelation to Rhun ap Iorwerth because I’ve referred to it many times in the Senedd over the past 14 years.
“We all know he loves the sound of his own voice but if he took the time to listen to others from time to time he could be enlightened further.
“I will make no apologies for being Irish. As the son of a working class Irish immigrant, I am proud of my Irish heritage and citizenship; it’s an important part of who I am.
“Like many Irish citizens living in the UK, and the majority of voters in Rhun’s Ynys Mon constituency, I voted to leave the EU; Rhun ap Iorwerth needs to get over it.”
‘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.”