The UK and the Republic of Ireland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to reaffirm their commitment to free movement in the Common Travel Area (“CTA”) if and when the UK leaves the European Union.
The CTA is made up of the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands (Guernsey and Jersey) and the Isle of Man. Individuals are currently able to move freely between the CTA without being subject to immigration control. The CTA also allows British citizens to live, work and study in Ireland without restriction and vice versa.
The Memorandum of Understanding between the governments of Ireland and the UK emphasises that the CTA predates the two countries’ membership of the European Union (EU). Further, it reinforces the commitment to the CTA remaining in place after the UK leaves the EU, irrespective of whether the UK leaves the EU with an agreement or on a ‘no deal’ basis. Accordingly, British and Irish citizens should be able to continue moving freely within the CTA without being subject to immigration control and Irish nationals will not be required to apply for “pre-settled” or “settled” status after Brexit like nationals of the rest of the EU.
The Irish and British governments have also agreed to establish an oversight committee of senior officials who will ensure that the rights of Irish and British citizens to move within the CTA continue to be honoured.
Although recognition of the unique historic relationship between the Republic of Ireland and the UK will provide some reassurance to those who maintain strong ties to both countries, the loss of EU free movement rights for Irish nationals should not be underestimated, in particular in relation to additional protections and entitlements that come from this legal regime, for example in relation to issues such as deportation.
If you are concerned about your status as an Irish national living in the UK, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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 don’t 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.