Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
85. To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade the changes citizens of the UK living here post Brexit will face; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8990/19]
The UK is leaving the EU and some things are going to change. However, British citizens in Ireland are not required to take any action to protect their status and rights associated with the Common Travel Area (CTA), a long-standing arrangement between the UK and Ireland which means British citizens can move freely to live, work, and study in Ireland on the same basis as Irish citizens and vice versa. Associated reciprocal rights and privileges also include access to health care, social security and the right to vote in local and national parliamentary elections on the same basis as citizens of the other jurisdiction. After the UK leaves the EU, British citizens in Ireland will continue to enjoy these rights, in any scenario.
Both the Irish and British Governments have committed to the maintenance of the CTA and the associated rights and entitlements of Irish and British citizens in any circumstance. To that end, both Governments have committed to undertaking all the work necessary, including through legislative provision to ensure that the Common Travel Area rights and privileges are protected. Considerable progress has been achieved bilaterally with the UK over the past year involving several Departments in what has been a whole-of-Government exercise. Ireland’s shared aim with the UK throughout has been to ensure that the necessary arrangements are made in both countries so that the CTA can function effectively after the UK leaves the EU.
Protecting and maintaining the Common Travel Area and the associated rights and privileges is a key part of our contingency planning and preparations. On 22 February, the Government published the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019. This includes the legislation required immediately in a no-deal scenario. The Bill provides for continued access to healthcare, social security protection, student support, protection of consumers, and justice and security measures, in support of the Common Travel Area. The Government is working with the Oireachtas to ensure that the Omnibus Bill is in place by 29 March.