Belfast Telegraph

UK Government guarantees freedom of movement for Irish people

The UK Government has confirmed Irish people living in the UK will still have freedom of movement after Brexit.

The government published its Common Travel Area (CTA) guidance on Friday, ahead of Brexit on March 29.

The CTA agreement between the UK and Ireland precedes Britain’s membership of the EU and allows citizens of both countries to live and work freely in either.

Irish citizens living in the UK are treated as if they have permanent immigration permission to remain in the UK.

This is the same if you are a British citizen in Ireland, you do not need a visa, any form of residence permit or employment permit.

Both governments have committed to taking steps to ensure that this continues after the UK leaves the EU.

The working, education, social security benefits, health care, social housing and voting rights of Irish citizens living in the UK are all protected under the CTA.

According to the guidance Irish citizens living in the UK do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, but may do so if they wish.

The EU Settlement Scheme is an application process for EU citizens who wish to continue living in the UK after Brexit.

Irish citizens "do not need to do anything to protect your status in the UK, either before or after the UK leaves the EU," the guidance said.

However family members of Irish citizens (who themselves are not British or Irish citizens) will be required to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if they wish to remain in the UK as they are not covered under the CTA.

The family member will be required to provide evidence of the Irish citizen’s identity and nationality, of their relationship to the Irish citizen and of their continuous residence in the UK.

There is also for protection for family members in Prime Minister Theresa May's draft Brexit withdrawal deal which has yet to be agreed on by Parliament.

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