The UK government has agreed a deal with Ireland that guarantees Irish and British citizens will maintain special rights in each other’s countries, even if there is a no deal Brexit.
The agreement ensures that there is an existing common travel area (CTA) and that associated bilateral agreements would be protected regardless of what happens with Brexit.
David Lidington, Minister of the Cabinet Office said:
“Our message to Irish citizens in the UK is that your rights will not change. You will still be able to move freely between Ireland, the UK and the islands. “You will still be able to work, study, draw your pension and access social security and public services in the UK. Above all, you will be welcome. And we welcome the similar commitment the government of Ireland makes to British citizens in Ireland.”
What does it actually mean?
Irish nationals will continue to be able to vote in all British elections and stand for public office. This will be the case for British citizens who settle in Ireland.
There will be reciprocal access to education at all levels.
Citizens can work in either country and receive social security benefits no matter which country they live or retire in.
“This Anglo Irish deal offers much needed reassurance to the estimated 350,000 Irish people settled in the UK and 300,000 Britons living in Ireland. However, for other EU nationals, their future in the UK is not so certain. It is advisable to get in touch with our immigration practice to see how we can help.”