Learn about the special rights of Irish citizens in the UK post-Brexit by understanding how you can live, work, and access benefits without the EU Settlement Scheme, and gain insights into the historical significance of the Common Travel Area and your UK residency rights.
As the tides of Brexit reshaped the relationship between the UK and the European Union, many questions arose regarding the rights of EU citizens residing in the UK. However, the case of Irish citizens stands apart, thanks to the unique historical and legal constructs that have been in place for almost a century.
Irish citizens enjoy a special status in the UK, rooted in the Common Travel Area (CTA) arrangement established after the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921. The CTA ensures that Irish citizens are not considered “aliens” in the UK, and they can live and work freely within the country. This status is separate from and predates the rights granted to Irish citizens as EU nationals.
This means that Irish citizens do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after Brexit. Their rights to live, work, access public services, and even vote in UK elections remain intact. Irish citizens have a right to ‘settled status’ upon taking up ordinary residence in the UK. They can study, access social security and healthcare, and enjoy the same benefits as British citizens.
The CTA encompasses the territories of both the Republic of Ireland and the UK, making it a unique arrangement. It even covers the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, providing a broad scope of privileges.
However, it is important to note that whilst Irish citizens can enjoy these rights, the same does not apply to their non-Irish and non-UK family members. These family members will need to apply for a Family Permit under the European Settlement Scheme, provided that the Irish citizen was continuously resident in the UK before 31 December 2020.
Irish citizens have a smooth journey to living in the UK post-Brexit, thanks to the preservation of the CTA. The legal framework surrounding this unique status remains strong, ensuring a seamless experience for Irish citizens who choose to call the UK their home.
In a world where immigration rules and regulations can be complex and ever-changing, the preservation of the Common Travel Area offers a welcome sense of stability for Irish citizens, fostering a strong, enduring bond between the UK and the Republic of Ireland. If you have further questions or need expert advice regarding the rights of Irish citizens in the UK, feel free to consult our immigration solicitors who specialise in these matters.
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The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please do not hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.