UK Brexit guidelines confirm "uninhibited movement" across the Irish border

The Foreign Office says the rights to work, study, access social security and public services will be preserved

UK Brexit guidelines confirm "uninhibited movement" across the Irish border

A newly issued Irish passport alongside a British passport outside the High Court in Belfast | Image: Brian Lawless/PA Archive/PA Images

The British government has published guidance on Irish citizens' rights in relation to Brexit.

An agreement reached earlier this month means the rights of Irish and British citizens under the Common Travel Area (CTA) are protected after the UK leaves the EU.

This means that no Irish or British nationals will be required to apply for settled status to protect their entitlements in Ireland and the UK respectively.

The rights to work, study, access social security and public services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for Irish and UK nationals.

There will be also be full protection and maintenance of the current arrangements for journeys between the Ireland and the UK.

According to newly-published documents from the UK Foreign Office, this includes movement across the Irish border "protecting the uninhibited movement enjoyed today."

The Common Travel Area (CTA) facilitates the principle of free movement for British and Irish citizens between the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

The CTA was formed before either Ireland or the UK were members of the EU.

Under the CTA, Irish and UK nationals have:

  • the right to enter and reside in each others’ state without being subject to a requirement to obtain permission
    the right to work without being subject to a requirement to obtain permission
    the right to access education
    access to social welfare entitlements and benefits
    access to health services
    access to social housing
    the right to vote in local and parliamentary elections

The Foreign Office says that Irish citizens residing in Great Britain "do not need to do anything".

It adds: "Your rights under the CTA will be protected after the UK leaves the EU."