Leader of the House of Commons, Andrew Lansley, says he will talk to the Secretary of State and Home Secretary about the problem of unionists stuck on the wrong side of the border after partition not being able to get United Kingdom passports.
DUP MP Gregory Campbell has asked for the matter to be subject to a full blown debate at Westminster. Five years ago in response to representations from Mr Campbell, the then Irish Foreign Minister Micheál Martin agreed to allow people from Northern Ireland to state their place of birth as Londonderry when applying for Irish passports. Now Mr Campbell wants the London Government to allow unionists from the Republic of Ireland to apply for UK passports.
He asked: “Tens of thousands of people in Northern Ireland who were born in the Irish Republic during the past 40 or 50 years are denied the right to get a British passport, although many people in Northern Ireland can avail themselves of an Irish passport on the same basis.”
Mr Lansley responded: “If I may, I will talk to my right hon. Friends the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland and the Home Secretary about that matter.
“I cannot promise a debate at this stage, but I will endeavour to secure further replies for the hon. Gentleman.”