Sunday, August 13, 2017

Irish Citizens will retain UK free movement rights after Brexit

Prime Minister Theresa May will give free movement rights to Irish citizens after the UK leaves the European Union, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

The paper is calling the offer a “Schengen” style deal between Britain and Ireland, although this would go beyond a border-less travel area. However, we are still awaiting the Government’s formal proposal to the EU on sensitive issue of the Northern Irish border, straddling miles of country roads and farmland.

Although it has barely been mentioned, Britain and Ireland, along with the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands, has enjoyed an open border area since 1923, almost 50 years before they joined the Common Market - the free trade area which evolved into the European Union we know today. The Common Travel Area (CTA) allowed Irish citizens to live, work and remain in the UK as settled residents without filling in Indefinite Leave to Remain forms.

Many of my own Irish relatives came to the UK in the 1960’s with no passport and never needed one to travel back and forth between Britain and Ireland. In the 1950's and 1960's, it was the Irish who did the jobs the British workers did not want to do, such as road construction and care.  

I had many childhood holidays in Ireland long before I eventually applied for my first British passport.

There is also talk of CCTV cameras and automated number plate technology to track the movement of goods in vehicles across the Irish border, as part of a lighter customs regime.

With unelected EU officials playing a game of pre-negotiation hardball, it looks like the UK will have little option but leave the single market and customs union in a so-called hard Brexit.

The Brexit negotiations are creating uncertainty in the markets and with EU migrants, even though Theresa May announced that they are welcome to remain in the UK indefinitely.

The number of EU, as well as non-EU nurses applying to work in the UK has fallen dramatically, and thousands of British nurses are taking jobs overseas in countries like Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

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