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Bryan Gould

All this fuss about Ashcroft and domicile.

Here\’s a question for you. Was Bryan Gould even a UK citizen?

Come to think of it, is Lord Paul?

Running through my mind is the thought that there\’s no requirement (at all) that a member of the House of Lords be a UK citizen. And I\’m not entirely sure that an MP has to be either.

Ah, no, an MP does not need to be a UK citizen.

So, how many of our rulers are not in fact citizens, let alone non doms?

Is Gisela Stuart a UK citizen? (She would certainly qualify through marriage but given her German background might not have actually bothered to do so).

This might actually get quite complex. I assume you have to be a citizen to be domiciled. So if Cameron\’s going to insist that only the domiciled can be MPs or Lords, then are there any who will be disqualified on those grounds?

I\’ve noted a couple of possibilities and this isn\’t simply to pick on them at all. I think it might be fascinating to find out whether all of our rulers really are citizens here….given that there\’s such a fuss about domicile.

8 thoughts on “Bryan Gould”

  1. I’d bet the other way, though not a tax lawyer, that you don’t have to be a citizen to be domiciled in the UK.

    (when did being a soldier become a disqualification for being an MP?)

    the story’s about money, sort of no representation without taxation, not a million miles from the midlothian question, or even MP’s expenses, and also honesty – that undertaking he gave when he became a lord was shabbily ambiguous – shabby because he clearly intended to exploit the ambiguity.

  2. Or Patricia Hewitt?

    It seems clear – see here:

    A Commonwealth or ROI citizen is eligible to stand, seemingly without being British.

    I don’t know if it is the case for Hewitt or Gould, but it is fairly common for Australians and Kiwis to be entitled to a British passport through descent, going back to your paternal (but not maternal) grandparents. Don’t know if that makes you British dom.

    Of course, as Ambrose points out, you can elect to lose your non-dom status and become domiciled in the UK.

  3. ambrose murphy,

    “sort of no representation without taxation”

    Quite a lot of our MPs have taken far more out of the tax system than they’ve put in.

  4. At common law, citizenship is only a factor to be taken into account in determining an individual’s domicile.

  5. Tim Almond – Amusingly, Ashcroft does not claim expenses for his parliamentary work, because the expenses payments would come out of the tax system by subsidising it himself this is effectively an overpayment of tax.

    There’s a headline for you: Lord Ashcroft Pays Too Much Tax

  6. Ambrose, not certain, but pretty sure serving soldiers have been excluded since the Mutiny Act of 1689, it was definitely an intention to stop soldiers being politicians after the Restoration.

    But it’s 15 years since I studied it, and can’t be arsed to go look it up, sorry.

  7. ‘I assume you have to be a citizen to be domiciled.’

    You are wrong. Private international law, otherwise known as ‘The Law of The Conflict Of Laws’ distinguished between domicile of origin and domicile of choice. The leading textbook on the matter is ‘Cheshire and North’; the Cheshire in question was Leonard Cheshire’s father.

    ‘By domicile we mean home, the permanent home, and if you do not understand your permanent home, I’m afraid that no illustration drawn from foreign writers or foreign languages will very much help you to it -‘

    Lord Cranworth, ‘Whicker -v – Hume’, (1858) 7 H.L.C, 124, 160, quoted in Morris, ‘The Conflict of Laws’.

  8. Being an Australian with British grandparents doesn’t usually give you the right to a British passport, regardless of whether it is the paternal or maternal side. There are some relatively rare circumstances where it does, but they are rare. Generally what you get is access to the “UK ancestry” British work visa, through which there is a fairly easy route to permanent residency and citizenship. Both my grandfathers (but neither of my grandmothers) were born in England, and I have been through student visas, the aforementioned ancestry visa, and then permanent residency and naturalisation, so I now have dual citizenship. None of these things have given me British domicile. I have had the vote in Britain at all times when living here, even on a student visa, and had the right to stand for parliament long before I was a citizen.

    Interestingly enough, I am no longer eligible to stand for federal parliament in Australia, as the Australian constitution (written in the 1890s) says that to be eligible I must “be a British subject” and “not owe allegiance to any foreign power”. The courts have ruled that the first clause now means “An Australian citizen” and the second includes Britain as a foreign power. Thus I would have to renounce my British citizenship to stand in Australia, something I could admittedly do very easily.

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