Belfast Telegraph

Tory Remainer obtains Irish passport to stay an EU citizen

A Conservative MEP who describes himself as a "passionate Remainer" has secured an Irish passport following the UK's decision to leave the European Union.

Charles Tannock, who is one of eight politicians representing the capital in Brussels and Strasbourg, said that while he loved his country of birth, he wanted to distance himself "from shameful aspects of Brexit".

Mr Tannock, an MEP for London since 1999, qualifies for an Irish passport as his grandmother was born in Dublin in 1895, the Irish Times said.

He told the paper: "I wanted to feel fully European and be reassured I would remain an EU citizen.

"It is more a statement of my EU and Irish heritage and loyalty. I believe that you can be loyal to more than one country, you can love different things in different ways.

"I love being European, I love being Irish, I love being British and I don't see any incompatibility between them.

"Having an Irish passport made me feel a lot better psychologically to be honest."

He added that he was "seriously considering" whether to renew his British passport should the country head in a "very hostile direction" towards Europe after Britain leaves the 27-member bloc.

Mr Tannock said the he deeply regretted the 52-48 split in favour of Brexit, adding it was a "slim majority on a broad franchise", and the campaign was filled with what he deemed false promises.

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