The respondent’s submission, that s 1 of the British Nationality Act 1981 was capable of being interpreted consistently with the Belfast (or Good Friday) Agreement, by reading in the words ‘if they consent to identify as such’, was not a submission that could find favour. Accordingly, the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) allowed the appellant Secretary of State’s appeal against the decision that the respondent’s wife’s constitutional right to identify only as Irish meant that she could not be treated under UK law as British.
The respondent US national married a woman born in Northern Ireland in 1987. At the time of her birth, she was a British citizen, under s 1(1) of the British Nationality Act 1981 and, by reason of the nationality law of the Republic of Ireland, the wife was also a citizen of that country. The respondent applied a residence card, in confirmation of his right to reside in the UK, pursuant to EU law, as given effect by the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, SI 2006/1003. The appellant Secretary of State refused the respondent’s application because she considered that the wife not fall within the definition of ‘EEA national’, namely, a national of an EEA state who was not also a British citizen.
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