U.K. and Ireland Agree Common Travel Area
By Aidan Lonergan, Contributor
May / June 2019
The governments of Britain and Ireland have agreed on a deal to preserve the Common Travel Area (CTA) shared by the two countries after Brexit.
The Memorandum of Understanding guarantees the continuation of reciprocal rights enjoyed by British and Irish citizens under the CTA, which dates back to 1922.
Those rights include the free movement of people between Britain and Ireland, but also access to social security, healthcare, and education.
Irish citizens also have the right to vote in U.K. general elections and hold office there, while these privileges are reciprocated for the estimated 30,000 Brits living in Ireland.
The provisions of the CTA do not, however, relate to goods or customs issues – a sticking point of the ongoing Brexit negotiations between the United Kingdom and European Union.
The agreement comes after more than two years of negotiations between London and Dublin to ensure that even if Britain leaves the E.U. without a Brexit deal, citizens will continue to enjoy their current reciprocal rights and privileges.
The two governments have agreed to maintain existing arrangements on social insurance, child benefits and pensions and they are working on new arrangements to ensure that British and Irish citizens will continue to have equal access to public health and education services in both countries.
– Aidan Lonergan / The Irish Post / May 8, 2019 ♦