A serving Conservative member of the European Parliament has claimed an Irish passport in order to retain his European Union citizenship, announcing he is “quite ashamed to be British”.
Charles Tannock, who has been on the payroll in the European Parliament as a London MEP since 1999, was able to acquire a Republic of Ireland passport through his late grandmother, born in Dublin in 1895.
“I wanted to feel fully European and be reassured I would remain an EU citizen. I was not getting it to use it now. It is more a statement of my EU and Irish heritage and loyalty,” boasted the 59-year-old in an interview with the Irish Times.
The belief that UK is a European country with a European destiny will not stop anytime soon. Brexit victory hardly a decisive or perpetual 1 https://t.co/6l1cJMf4vb
— Charles Tannock (@CharlesTannock) September 3, 2017
“Having an Irish passport made me feel a lot better psychologically to be honest,” he confessed, adding he was “seriously considering after Brexit about whether I will renew my British passport”.
The former psychiatrist railed against Brexit-supporting politicians within the Conservative Party — a minority prior to the referendum — accusing them of “arrogance and hubris”, “petty nationalism”, and “triumphalism”.
He said his interest in his tenuous links to the Irish Republic had been “awakened by Brexit because, to be honest, I am quite ashamed to be British in many ways”.
He claimed: “I feel more Irish than ever … I am very proud to be Irish. I am going on a pilgrimage with my mother because she has also just got an Irish passport. She got hers in Paris.”
Tellingly, he confided that “plenty” of Conservative members feel like him, and said he would not be leaving the party yet.
“I deeply regret the Brexit outcome,” he said, complaining “It was done on a slim majority on a broad franchise” — appearing to hint that the general public were unfit to decide the issue in an open referendum.
“I don’t feel morally bound by the outcome,” he added.