British citizens in Ireland after Brexit

It looks increasingly likely that a no-deal Brexit will go ahead on 29th March 2019. So what does that mean for the 100,000 British citizens currently living in Ireland?

In Britain much has been made of the need for EU citizens wanting to stay in the UK after Brexit to register for settled status. But there’s no similar arrangement for British citizens to register to stay in their EU country of choice.

It’s little wonder that loads of British people abroad – like me – have been applying for citizenship of the country where they live.

Common Travel Area

Thankfully the situation is much simpler for UK and Irish citizens living in each other’s countries. The Common Travel Area, which predates any EU agreements, guarantees British and Irish people the right to live, work, study, access social security and public services in each other’s countries.

This story from the Irish Times backs up the claim that plans are in place to protect the rights of British people in Ireland. However not every message is so consistent.

The UK Brexit guidance website for citizens living in Ireland seems to cast some doubt on rights being protected. The section on healthcare says, for instance:

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal on 29 March 2019, your access to healthcare is likely to change.

Living in Ireland – GOV.UK

That doesn’t exactly inspire me with confidence that all my rights are being protected! I just hope that the website is out of date, and other information out there is more accurate.

It also doesn’t help that the measures to protect the Common Travel Area are being laid out in a ‘memorandum of understanding‘ between the two governments, which doesn’t sound very legally binding to me:

…a memorandum of understanding between the two countries but also a legally binding international treaty on social security.

…but there are obviously timelines required in terms of the legislation that may be linked to that.  

Irish Times – Rights of Irish in Britain and British in Ireland protected from no-deal Brexit

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