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  • Writer's pictureHannah Phillips

Deputy Nationals Leader Senator Fiona Nash On Her Dual Citizenship Status

On Thursday afternoon Senator Fiona Nash issued a statement saying: on Monday, following the Deputy Prime Minister’s statement regarding his citizenship, I sought advice of the UK Home Office on my citizenship status.

By Monday evening, I was advised that a case worker at the United Kingdom (UK) Home Office was of the view that, on the basis of the limited facts that I had provided, I was a British citizen by descent through my Scottish born Father.

I was not provided with any further information to support that view at that time.

My mother was born in Australia and was an Australian citizen.

My father was born in Scotland in 1927.

I was born in Sydney in 1965.

My parents divorced when I was eight and my mother raised me.

I had little to no contact with my father throughout his life, and he died nine years ago.

My mother died five years ago.

Growing up, my parents always told me I was not a dual citizen.

My understanding since early childhood was that in order to be a dual British citizen, I would need to apply for it.

Indeed, an internet search reveals websites which say that having a Scottish-born father allows one to apply for citizenship and mention nothing of automatic citizenship by decent.

I advised the Government and the Government sought legal advice from the United Kingdom which I understand was received today, and which was considered by the governance committee of Cabinet in the last hour.

The Government also sought advice from the Australian Solicitor General which was received tonight.

I have just met the Prime Minister and am taking this opportunity to make the Senate aware at the earliest possible opportunity of the position.

I understand that the Attorney General will provide further information to the Chamber, but I can advise Honourable Senators that on the basis of the Solicitor-General’s advice, the Prime Minister has indicated to me that he sees no reason for me to stand aside from my portfolio responsibilities.

I will also continue as Deputy Leader of the National Party.

When the Senate meets on 4 September, the Government will move a motion to refer the matter to the High Court sitting as the Court of disputed Returns in accordance s. 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918.

If Senator Nash is found to be a dual citizen she will be disqualified from sitting in the Senate.

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