Belfast Telegraph

Brexit: Ex-Northern Ireland secretary quotes Michael Collins while voicing support for Johnson deal

Owen Patterson speaking in the House of Commons
Owen Patterson speaking in the House of Commons

By Eimear McGovern

A former Northern Ireland secretary has quoted Michael Collins as he argues in favour of Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.

Owen Paterson MP was quoting the Irish revolutionary from a speech he gave in the Dail in favour of the 1921 Anglo-Irish Treaty. 

"I think touching on Ireland, it's worth looking at the example of the Republic of Ireland, which emerged from the Irish free State," he said, speaking in the House of Commons.

"Michael Collins in the Dail Eireann on December 19 1921 said something which reflects my views this evening.

Quoting Michael Collins directly, he said: "Now as one of the signatories of the document I naturally recommend its acceptance. I do not recommend it for more than it is.

"Equally I do not recommend it for less than it is. In my opinion it gives us freedom, not the ultimate freedom that all nations desire and develop to, but the freedom to achieve it," he said.

Irish revolutionary Michael Collins

Michael Collins was the Chairman of the Provisional Government of the Irish Free State who was killed in an ambush at Beal na Blath in Cork in 1922.

In his own words, the leave-supporting MP for North Shropshire Mr Patterson said: "This bill does begin the process of establishing the freedom so that we can get our full freedom.

"I hope I don't follow the fate of Michael Collins in wanting to see this delivered," he said.




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