Tuesday, 13 March 2012

I am a British Citizen

Let me first of all go through the facts which show how I am a British Citizen.

  1. I am from Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom
Well that is really the only fact that I need to prove that I am a British citizen. However this does not seem to be enough for people, certain people have told me 'Northern Ireland and Britain are separate', 'Irish people are Irish', 'Northern Ireland isn't in Britain', 'unless you where born on the island of Britain you can't be British' and finally my favourite 'Northern Ireland is in Ireland not United Kingdom'. So if I was to listen to all of these internet people I would believe myself to not  be British but let me just clear up a few of these misconceptions.

'Northern Ireland and Britain are separate'
'Northern Ireland isn't in Britain'
Well yes these two facts are indeed correct. So I cannot argue with them. However to the people who have tried to use these as argument to me my response to them is if they actually know what 'Britain' is. They usually reply with 'The UK' or slightly more intelligent people 'England, Scotland and Wales'. However both of these answers are wrong. The area known as Britain was used when referring to England and Wales alone, and after the Act of Union with Scotland it became known as 'Great Britain'. However today 'Britain' is used to refer to England, England and Wales, England Scotland and Wales, and the United Kingdom as a whole. So I let this slide as everyone has been slightly mislead.

'Irish people are Irish'
Well again this fact is true. People born in the Republic of Ireland are indeed Irish. People who use this argument against me assume that people in Northern Ireland are Irish. Well that is only partially true. Due to Northern Ireland not even being 100 years old yet there are people alive today (91+) who where alive when there was no such thing as Northern Ireland and therefore where born in a not yet separated Ireland. Being a direct descendent of these people there are a number of people who live in Northern Ireland who still want to hold on to the Irish pride in their family. Solution: Dual Nationality. Therefore there are a few Northern Irish citizens who are both British and Irish. Some refer to themselves solely as British and others solely as Irish. Each to their own of course.

'Unless you where born on the island of Britain you can't be British'
I will refer you back to my point of what 'Britain' actually is and remind you there is no official 'Island of Britain' there is however the 'Island of Great Britain'. Now if this argument was factually correct it may have had some intellectual weight, saying that though it still does not work. You do not have to be born in 'Great Britain' to be British. First of all 'British' is the nationality of the United Kingdom and not of a geographical island. May it also be noted here that certain English, Scottish and Welsh islands are not part of 'Great Britain'. Second you do not even have to be born in the United Kingdom to be British. If you read up on British Nationality Law you will see there are many ways to claim British citizenship, including parents being British, adoption by British family and many others with complicated rules and regulations. So overall this fact, although bordering on a sufficient argument is wrong.

  'Northern Ireland is in Ireland not United Kingdom'
This whole argument is just hilarious and I laugh at it, but I still feel the need to argument as a number of people feel it is a valid argument. So my arguments in short;

  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • My MP sits in Westminster
  • My MEP's represent the UK in the EU
  • My monarchy is HR The Queen Elizabeth II
  • My currency is Sterling Pound
  • My Flag is The Union Flag
  • If I was put to jail I would go to 'Her Majesty's Prison'
I could go on and on but I feel the arguments would just get boring, but you get the point. Fact is fact that a United Ireland has not yet happened again and that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom.

So there you have it. I am a British Citizen. But does that make British? Well no. Officially I am a British Citizen but that doesn't mean I feel British. The United Kingdom being a 'country of countries' there are people who feel more pride in their home country and may feel 'English', 'Scottish', 'Welsh' or 'Northern Irish'. These are not recognised nationalities, but it does not mean people can't feel that way. Immigrants who come into the country may officially be British Citizens but they still may consider themselves 'American' or 'Polish' or 'Australian'.

Nationality is two things; your official nationality (albeit dual or not) and the nationality you feel in your heart. Which one is more important? Is it right be officially be one and feel another? Is dual nationality right? These are all argument for another day. For now I shall leave you as I walk around my flat singing the British National Anthem...

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