Leading Unionist politician Ian Paisley Jr., has advised citizens of Northern Ireland to apply for a passport from the Republic of Ireland in the wake of last week’s Brexit vote.
A Member of Parliament (MP) for the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Paisley is the son of infamous unionist politician and religious leader Dr Ian Paisley Sr., who was a joint founder of the DUP and served as Northern Ireland First Minister between May 2007 and June 2008.
Retweeting a message from the Irish passport office, Paisley advised his followers to acquire a second passport if possible, despite himself campaigning for the UK to leave the EU in last week’s referendum.
"My advice is if you are entitled to second passport then take one. I sign off lots of applications for constituents,” he said.
"My advice is to take as many as you can especially if you travel to different world trouble zones."
My advice is if you are entitled to second passport then take one. I sign off lots of applications for constituents https://t.co/oWoiVIFF8A— Ian Paisley (@ianpaisleymp) June 24, 2016
Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU by 55.8 per cent but will be forced to the leave because of the overall UK majority. The result has prompted Republican party Sinn Féin to call for a referendum on the country’s position with the UK and a possible return to the Republic of Ireland.
Paisley, who is fiercely anti-Republican like his father, is supporting Northern Ireland Secretary of State Theresa Villiers in ruling out a border poll, however.
“The union is safe and we are out of Europe, No conflict just victory!” he said, continuing to urge those who voted remain to accept the decision of the UK majority and comparing their unhappiness to his own disappointment on the passing of the Good Friday Agreement.
In a letter to the editor of Northern Ireland website News Letter on Monday, the DUP MP for North Antrim argues that those who did not support the Good Friday Agreement accepted the democratic decision and called the idea of a second referendum “ludicrous.”
“In 1998, a referendum was held for the Good Friday Agreement, and for those of us who did not support the outcome, we were left disappointed. However we had the good grace to accept the democratic decision taken by the people of Northern Ireland and we moved on. I would urge remainers to do the same,” he wrote.
“Some of the suggestions I have heard are simply ludicrous, you cannot offer the people of the United Kingdom a choice but then overrule that or opt for a second referendum, despite having a clear majority because those who shout the loudest are unhappy.”
There has been a huge spike on the number of applications for Irish passports since the Brexit result was announced early last Friday morning. Such is the demand for passports from the Republic that Belfast’s Central Post Office ran out of applications on Saturday and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan advised applicants to wait until after the summer months to prevent delays in the system.
Those born on the island of Ireland (Republic or Northern Ireland) or those with a parent or grandparent born on the island are eligible to apply.
Paisley Jnr was a member of the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee of MPs at Westminster who conducted an inquiry as to the effects of Brexit on Northern Ireland and revealed a 28-page document published by Leave.EU and Global Britain that made a “positive case” for Northern Ireland outside of the EU.
He has also claimed that the Northern border will “not change dramatically in any way” in the event of Brexit.
H/T: The Independent
Partner is operative word here. We will get a uk/eu partnership https://t.co/sDi3E9n8XM— Ian Paisley (@ianpaisleymp) June 25, 2016