Check out this amusing and very clear explanation of the difference between England, Great Britain, The United Kingdom, Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Commonwealth Realms, etc, etc:
Brought to you by the people who brought you the US and Imperial Systems of Measurement, so you know it’s going to be easy to understand!
He also doesn’t mention that the Commonwealth Realms are plural.
Eh? The British, technically-speaking, were the pre-English inhabitants of the Isles, the ones that the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes conquered. Calling them the British Isles seems better to me than the English Isles.
What would you recommend as an alternative term?
How does that work? Do you have to choose a UK or an Irish passport? Can you carry both? Do you have to prove residency? I’m imagining people from England migrating to Northern Ireland and then getting an Irish passport (possibly because they want to drive in km/h).
I refer generally to Britain and Ireland instead when referring to both. It doesn’t offend me but I choose not to use the term usually.
For the people who can, they choose either. I’ve not heard of anyone carrying both and I’m not too sure if it is allowed, or what advantages there might be in getting both (maybe visa differences, working holiday privileges?) Plenty of people in England also have Irish passports as anyone with an Irish parent or grandparent can get one. Irish and British citizens are free to live and work in either country so in that regard one or other passport isn’t particularly useful. I believe it’s slightly cheaper to get an Irish one though.
All he would have had to say was “the British Isles, a term which some in Ireland find objectionable”. Since he is trying to demystify terminology I think it would have been worth noting.
The dual entitlement only applies to those born in N Ireland.
However, many millions of people have dual British and Irish citizenship through other means, often through being children of Irish-born emigrants to Britain. It’s perfectly possible to get both passports at once, and I’ve heard of people using this as a way of avoiding hassle caused by various visas, such as using one for visiting Israel and the other for trips to other Middle Eastern countries.
About 30 quid less, if I remember rightly from last year
I have both. Actually, I have both in my hands right now, they were in my bottom drawer. My brother actually has both, AND an American passport through marriage and residency. As to the advantage of one over the other, I have never put it to the test. I just use whichever, whenever.
A common claim was that if you worked illegally in America (as we do), and got booted out on say, your Irish passport, you could actually return to America again using the British one. I think they have tightened up on this, though I never tried it myself. (having never gotten kicked out of America) (They never caught me…)
I have also never heard the claim that Ireland is part of the British isles. A cite for that would be nice.
Careful with those eyebrows there Dougal. I wasnt trying to say that it wasnt true, its just that after living here all my life, both North and South, I have never heard the Republic of Ireland referred to as part of the British isles. Northern Ireland yes, the South, no. (I say ‘never heard’, I suppose its more accurate to say I dont recall)
Not really surprising, where I grew up people were very careful in how they described these things. The word British was always political, geography be damned. Thats just how it was.
‘At last?’ I’m surprised. I mean, obviously some people don’t know the difference because they’re not interested, but it’s not exactly complicated.
‘The British Isles’ is an incredibly loaded term - it implies that Ireland is part of Britain, which is a pretty big implication consider how long and hard they fought to not be. Having a term for the entire archipelago is useful, however; British and Irish Isles, maybe? Celtic Isles? Even Brittanic Isles would be better. It’s not as if nowhere ever changes its name.