The United Kingdom left the EU on the 31st January 2020 and by the 31st December 2020 will no longer be aligned to the Single Market or Customs Union. For many in our community this period is confusing but the rights for those with Irish citizenship in the UK remain clear and are covered by the Common Travel Area (CTA).
The CTA predates the EU and so is not dependant on it. The CTA means that Irish nationals have the right to vote, work, claim benefits and use the NHS along with being able to travel freely without a passport between Ireland and The United Kingdom.
Such rights have been in place since 1923, however they were clarified in a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Irish and British Governments in May 2019.
The protection of such rights is referred to in the following paragraphs;
10. The CTA affords British citizens residing or working in Ireland and Irish citizens residing or working in the UK, social security rights in each other’s state. They are entitled, when in the other state, to the same social security rights, and are subject to the same obligations, as citizens of that state.
Access to Social Housing;
11. The CTA affords British citizens residing in Ireland, and Irish citizens residing in the UK, the right to access social housing, including supported housing and homeless assistance, in each other’s state, on the same basis as citizens of that state.
Irish nationals may not be immediately covered by these conditions where they return to the CTA after a period living in a third country. Should you have any queries about this we recommend that you seek specialist advice.
The CTA also gives Irish citizens a right of residence in the UK which means that Irish citizens do no have to apply for "settled status". This is guaranteed in the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Act 2020, which exempts Irish citizens from any immigration control.
Irish citizens can apply for settled status if they are worried that the UK may change the law or its policies regarding Common Travel Area rights in the absence of a binding treaty.
Irish citizens with non-European family members may find that applying will help their family member’s "settled status application. The non-EU family member of an Irish citizen can apply for settled status without the Irish citizen applying, but would have to show that the Irish citizen would have been granted settled status if they had applied. There are also special arrangements for Irish citizens from Northern Ireland who have non-EU family members.
The deadline for settled status applications is 30 June 2021.
Irish Community Care Manchester is always happy to help if you need any more advice or have concerns about Brexit. Please feel free to contact us if you require any other help