The citizenship fiasco in Australia has claimed its ninth Member of Parliament. Skye Kakoschke-Moore, a senator from the NXT party, has announced her resignation after she discovered that she is a British national by descent. The reason is that her mother held a British passport after she was born in Singapore at the time the island was an overseas colony of Britain. This automatically makes the senator a British citizen. Australian MPs are not allowed to hold citizenship of foreign countries as per section 44 of country's constitution.
Unknown and obscure UK citizenship laws
Kakoschke-Moore always believed herself to be an Australian as Darwin was the place of her birth. She was previously not connected to the ongoing citizenship crisis. The MP had believed all through her life that she cannot be eligible for UK citizenship as her parents were born outside the island. In such cases, the parents cannot pass the citizenship to their children if they were born in any foreign country. Her father had previously made all the necessary inquiries when she was 12 years of age and when she and her family were residents of Oman. The British Foreign Office, at that time, told her parents that she was not eligible.
In her own words, Kakoschke-Moore said that since she knew that all Australian senators will have to disclose information to Parliament concerning their family history, the MP approached the UK Home Office so as to clear up the matter. She wanted to make sure that she was not eligible to be a UK citizen. To her surprise, the British informed her that she indeed is a UK citizen as her mother was born in Singapore when it was a British colony. This provided her UK citizenship as per section 4 of British Nationality Act 1948. Her mother then automatically passed her British citizenship to her children born outside Britain. She is thus a citizen of the United Kingdom.
Mother to daughter
Kakoschke-Moore informed the Australian parliament that her mother then obtained her right of abode in the UK as per Immigration Act 1971. The act came into picture due to her father being born in the United Kingdom. It also helped that she herself was born in one Commonwealth country and her parents were British-born. Nick Xenophon, the founder of the NXT party, paid tribute to Kakoschke-Moore. He said that it remains unclear as to who would come in her place.