Video: Martina Anderson blasts 'Perfidious Albion' before being 'kicked out of European Union against the wishes of the people' in last speech in Strasbourg

Derry MEP Martina Anderson blasted 'Perfidious Albion' in the European Parliament two weeks before being 'kicked out of the European Union against the wishes of the people of the North'.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 3:48 pm

In her last speech in Strasbourg attacked the British Government for failing to legislate to provide Co. Derry woman Emma DeSouza with citizenship rights promised to all Irish citizens under the Good Friday Agreement.

She thanked MEPs for supporting a resolution on the implementation and monitoring of the provisions on citizens’ rights in the Withdrawal Agreement

"Madam President, before January 31, 2020, when I will be kicked out of the EU against the democratically expressed wishes of the people in the north of Ireland who voted to remain, I want to take this opportunity to thank the MEPs who voted for this resolution today and for your steadfast support for the Good Friday Agreement and all of its parts.

Martina Anderson making her last ever speech in Strasbourg.

"This resolution deals, importantly, with the rights of Irish citizens in the north of Ireland to enjoy access and exercise our EU rights where we reside.

"As part of last week’s Stormont deal to establish the Executive, the British Government committed to change its immigration rules. Irish citizens born in the north will now be able to exercise their EU family reunification rights, addressing the Emma DeSouza case," she said.

The Sinn Féin MEP warned European Parliamentarians that Britain 'could not be trusted'.

"Britain did not get the name ‘Perfidious Albion’ for nothing. They still deny Emma, and all of us born in the north of Ireland, Irish citizenship. My final warning to my fellow MEPs is this: beware of Perfidious Albion, a country you cannot trust that never keeps its word. Britannia will always, always, waive the rules," she said.

Ms. Anderson's European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) colleage Mick Wallace also raised the Good Friday Agreement in the same debate.

"Clearly the rights of over 3 million EU citizens in the UK and over 1 million UK nationals in EU countries must be safeguarded and adequately monitored by the Commission and the proposed UK independent national authority. Obviously, those rights provided for under the Good Friday Agreement must also be safeguarded," he remarked.

Clare Daly, also of the GUE/NGL, group said she would miss Ms. Anderson's contributions and raised the DeSouza case as well.

"I have to say I will miss both our colleagues here from Sinn Féin, Martina, but also the colleagues from the Brexit Party. I think the place is going to be poorer for all of their absence.

But I supported this motion simply from the point of view of protecting the provisions and the citizens’ rights enshrined in the Good Friday Agreement.

"We’ve had our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Boris Johnson celebrating the resumption of the Northern Ireland Assembly and telling us that the Good Friday Agreement is now back working again.

"I suppose the point I want to make is that if the Good Friday Agreement is working then what that means is that all of the people of Northern Ireland have to continue to have a birth right to identify themselves to be accepted as Irish or British or both as they choose and as set out in that Good Friday Agreement. Irish people living in Northern Ireland who haven’t sought British citizenship cannot and should not have that citizenship foisted upon them," she said.