UK and Ireland sign post-Brexit reciprocal rights agreement in London

Simon Coveney and David Lidington signed the memorandum in London.

The British and Irish and governments have formally signed an agreement formally recognising that reciprocal rights citizens from both countries have availed of for almost 100 years will continue after Brexit.

The Memorandum of Understanding is based on the range of rights and privileges that apply in the Common Travel Area agreement between the UK and Ireland.

As well as travel, the agreement covers access to health, education, welfare, pension and other services.

The memorandum was signed in London by British Prime Minister Theresa May’s de facto deputy David Lidington and Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney.

Also in attendance were Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley and Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan.

Mr Coveney said: “We are providing clarity and assurances for citizens of both countries that the way Irish and British citizens can live and work freely across these islands will not change”.

He added: “It is a very clear statement of commitment. It is already backed up by legislation and by law so British citizens in Ireland can be reassured.

“Not only that, British citizens in Britain who may want to come to Ireland to study, to work, to live, to develop a career, can do so as if it was their own country.”

The agreement was also welcomed by Director General of the British Irish Chamber of Commerce John Mc Grane who described it as “an important milestone for citizens across these islands”.

He added that the memorandum “confirms the importance of the shared history and the shared understanding between the UK and Ireland”.

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The ministers travelled to London for a meeting of the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference, a structure put in place as part of the Good Friday Agreement.

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