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Thursday, 2 April 2009 - Brussels OJ edition

Explanations of vote

Text tabled : A6-0182/2009

  Gay Mitchell (PPE-DE). – Mr President, I am not, first and foremost, a European Union citizen. I am an Irish citizen and, as a complementary adjunct to that, I am a European citizen.

I have learned a lot here today. I did not realise our British colleagues were citizens. I thought they were subjects. But I have no difficulty with the words ‘subjects’ and ‘citizens’. You can be Scottish, Welsh or English, but you have to be Scottish, Welsh or English, or one of those people in Ireland who take on the British citizenship, to be British. There is no such thing as a British citizen if you are not Irish from Northern Ireland, Scottish, Welsh or English.

I really do not understand the point that has been made here today. These are complementary adjuncts to our national citizenships and I certainly have no difficulty whatsoever with that. People are making a mountain out of a molehill because we are in the run-up to the elections, and are using this constant anti-European rhetoric to put forward their own interests rather than the interests of the countries they are supposed to serve.

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