The Brexit-supporting Conservative MEP lamented the lack of widespread outrage in the European Parliament after Irish MEP Martina Anderson launched a scathing attack on Britain. Ms Anderson claimed Britain “never keeps its word” as she commented on a Home Office decision to consider as British Northern Ireland-born Emma DeSouza despite her claims the Good Friday Agreement allowed her to identify as Irish. Addressing colleagues in Strasbourg, Ms Anderson said: “Britain did not get the name perfidious Albion for nothing. They still deny Emma and all of us in the North of Ireland Irish citizenship.
“My final warning to my fellow MEPs is this – beware of perfidious England, a country you cannot trust and never keeps its word.
“Britannia will always, always wave the rules.”
But Daniel Hannan did not take well to the comments her colleague made in the chamber as he shared a video of the rant on his personal Twitter account.
Commenting on the video, Mr Hannan said: “Imagine the outrage if a Brexit Party MEP were to talk about Ireland – or any other European Union state – this way.
“But when it’s Britain, it’s fair game.”
Ms Anderson’s comments came after the British Government agreed to change immigration rules to allow Irish citizens born in Northern Ireland to appeal to EU family reunification rules after Brexit.
Ms DeSouza took the Government to court after the Home Office refused her American husband the right to move to the UK because she claimed to be an Irish citizen in the application form.
The First-Tier Immigration Tribunal ruled in favour of Ms DeSouza in 2017 saying she was an “Irish national only who has ever been such.”
But she later lost an appeal last year after the Home Office legal team argued successfully people born in Northern Ireland are de jure British citizens.
Mr Hannan said: “I’ve got to ask my Liberal Democrats colleagues when I hear them demanding physical forms of ID when they opposed ID as a party, when I hear them criticising the UK Government without a word about EU member states who have failed to reciprocate – I have to wonder what their motives really are.”
In a letter to the Brexit Secretary Steven Barclay earlier this month, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier raised “issues of concern” over EU citizens’ rights in the aftermath of Brexit.
The concerns included the need for an independent watchdog to enable EU citizens to make complaints against the British Government while they are living in the country.
The European Commission launched preparedness plans to ensure the protection of UK citizens’ rights in each member state after December 2020. Rules on permanent residence will however depend on the immigration rules of EU members.