Brexiteer MP quotes Irish revolutionary Michael Collins during Commons debate
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Brexiteer MP quotes Irish revolutionary Michael Collins during Commons debate

A BRITISH MP last night quoted the Irish revolutionary hero Michael Collins during a debate in the House of Commons.

Pro-Brexit MP Owen Paterson was voicing his support for Boris Johnson's Brexit Deal when he name-dropped the man who helped to secure the 26-county Irish Free State by signing the Anglo-Irish Treaty in 1921.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Paterson said:

"It is worth looking at the example of the Republic of Ireland, which emerged from the Irish Free State.

"Michael Collins, in the Dáil Éireann on 19 December 1921 said something that pretty reflects my views this evening."

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Mr Paterson then directly quoted the revolutionary leader, saying:

“Now as one of the signatories of the [1921 Treaty] document I naturally recommend its acceptance. I do not recommend it for more than it is.

“Equally I do not recommend it for less than it is. In my opinion it gives us freedom, not the ultimate freedom that all nations desire and develop to, but the freedom to achieve it,”

The Brexiteer then drew a parallel between Mr Collins' speech and Mr Johnson's Deal, saying:

"This Bill does begin the process of establishing a freedom so that we can get our full freedom."

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Mr Paterson ended his speech by saying he hoped he would not "follow the fate of Michael Collins" by voicing his support of the Bill.

Michael Collins was killed during an ambush at Béal na mBláth, Cork, during the Irish civil war in 1922.

It is the second time in recent moths that a historic Irish political hero was referenced in British Parliament-- in September, Jacob Rees-Mogg angrily referenced Charles Stewart Parnell  during a Brexit debate when he said:

"The approach taken today is the most unconstitutional use of this House since the days of Charles Stewart Parnell, when he tried to bung up Parliament,”.