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UK and Irish Governments need to sign new treaty after de Souza case

The UK and Irish Governments need to sign a new treaty to fully encapsulate the freedom of identity and protection of rights, Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MLA has said.

Dr Farry was speaking after an immigration tribunal upheld an appeal by the Home Office against Emma de Souza, who had taken a case when it was deemed she was British after her American husband applied for a residence card. She plans to seek leave for the case to be heard in the Court of Appeal.

“Alliance continues to support Emma and Jake de Souza in their legal action to have their rights protected, including free choice over identity and citizenship,” said Dr Farry.

“It is clear the letter and spirit of the Good Friday Agreement regarding identity and citizenship has not being fully respected in domestic law. People from Northern Ireland have the right to be solely British, solely Irish or both.

"This case has exposed some of the anomalies and discrepancies that have not really been exposed until now due to the hitherto joint EU membership of the UK and Ireland.

“Alliance will be making political representations that the UK Government updates the 1981 Nationality Act, and the UK and Irish Governments make a new treaty going beyond the Common Travel Area, fully encapsulates the free choice of identity and protection of rights.”