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Brexit and You

Information for Irish citizens living in Britain

Because of the Common Travel Area, many aspects of life will remain the same for Irish citizens living in Britain but some changes are inevitable. The guides below detail some of these changes and answer the most frequently asked questions.

Our top FAQs, including information on the CTA, EHIC cards, pets and driving licenses, are below.

Visit our dedicated webpage on the Common Travel Area to find out more detail about your CTA entitlements. For more detailed information and answers to other questions click here.

Top Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, due to the Common Travel Area, Irish and British citizens can continue to travel freely between the UK and Ireland in the same manner as before (although some Covid-19 restrictions may apply). Don’t forget your passport or other valid I.D. depending on how you are travelling. And if your passport is out of date, the fastest way to renew it is online at www.dfa.ie/passport. British citizens will not need to have 6 months validity remaining on their passport to enter Ireland although this will be required in most other EU Member States.

Yes, Irish citizens can still study in the UK on the same basis as British citizens (and UK citizens study in Ireland on the same basis as Irish citizens).

Yes, you can still rent a place to live and you continue to have a right to access healthcare or social housing supports, including supported housing and homeless assistance, on the same basis as British citizens.

Irish citizens and British citizens in each other’s state have the right to access social security benefits on the same basis as citizens of that state. This includes arrangements for Social Insurance schemes, Social Assistance schemes and Child Benefit.

The CTA also applies to healthcare so Irish citizens in the UK can continue to access healthcare as they do now, including emergency, routine and planned access, on the same basis as British citizens and vice versa.  

Irish citizens living in the UK by the end of the transition period (31 December 2020), who have exercised their right to EU freedom of movement in doing so, and are therefore covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, can apply for a new UK-issued EHIC at NHS.UK/GHIC. This card will be valid for use when travelling in the EU, EEA and Switzerland from 1 January 2021. 

Most people entitled to a UK-issued EHIC will apply using their EU Settled Status (EUSS) number to prove their eligibility. As Irish citizens do not need EUSS, they will be able to upload evidence of having exercised EU free movement rights directly onto the portal. If they were born in the EU (outside of the UK) this will, in the first instance, be their UK address and a copy of their Irish passport stating their place of birth.

Dual Irish-British citizens, people of Northern Ireland, and Irish citizens who take up residence in the UK from 1 January 2021 can apply for the new UKGlobal Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This will permit them to access necessary state-provided healthcare at the same cost as local residents while on visits to EU countries.

Existing EHIC cards will continue to be valid until their expiry date, after which UK residents should apply for a replacement GHIC card.

Information on the new GHIC and how you can apply can be found here.

Visitors to Ireland with a UK driving licence will still be able to drive in Ireland on holidays but make sure you have your UK licence with you. An International Driver’s Permit (available from Post Offices) is not needed for Ireland although it may be required by some car hire companies.

If normally resident in Ireland and holder of a UK licence, you must apply to exchange this for an Irish licence or apply for an Irish driving licence. More information is available at https://www.ndls.ie/licensed-driver/exchange-my-uk-ni-licence.html.

Drivers from the UK, including Northern Ireland, may now drive in Ireland and elsewhere in the EU, without a Green Card as proof of motor insurance.

This comes from the European Commission decision to allow UK and Montenegro enter the Green Card Free Circulation zone, as permitted under Article 8.2 of the EU Motor Insurance Directive. This came into effect on 2 August 2021.

Green Cards are also not required by Irish drivers driving in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.

The Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) has also published advice for policy holders. More information is available on Gov.ie.

Yes, EU registered cars can be brought into the UK for up to 6 months if you are visiting and provided the car is taxed and registered in Ireland. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/importing-vehicles-into-the-uk/temporary-imports

Visitors to Ireland with a UK driving licence will still be able to drive in Ireland on holidays but make sure you have your UK licence with you. An International Driver’s Permit (available from Post Offices) is not needed for Ireland although it may be required by some car hire companies.

If normally resident in Ireland and holder of a UK licence, you must apply to exchange this for an Irish licence or apply for an Irish driving licence. More information is available at https://www.ndls.ie/licensed-driver/exchange-my-uk-ni-licence.html.

UK registered vehicles (including vehicles from Northern Ireland) will require a Green Card when being driven in Ireland and other EU Member States. A Green Card is a document that proves you have motor insurance cover when driving in another jurisdiction and can be provided by your insurer.

 

 

Yes. Drivers from the UK, including Northern Ireland, may now drive in Ireland and elsewhere in the EU, without a Green Card as proof of motor insurance.

This comes from the European Commission decision to allow UK and Montenegro enter the Green Card Free Circulation zone, as permitted under Article 8.2 of the EU Motor Insurance Directive. This came into effect on 2 August 2021.

Green Cards are also not required by Irish drivers driving in Northern Ireland or Great Britain.

The Motor Insurance Bureau of Ireland (MIBI) has also published advice for policy holders. More information is available on Gov.ie.

From 1 January 2021 onwards, the UK will have Part 2 listed status under the EU Pet Travel Scheme, meaning that people travelling from GB with their pets and assistance dogs will need to follow new requirements in order to travel to the EU and Northern Ireland.

Before taking their dog, cat or ferret to the EU for the first time after 1 January 2021, pet owners in the UK must complete the following steps:

  • Ensure their dog, cat or ferret is microchipped.
  • Ensure that their dog, cat or ferret is vaccinated against rabies – pets must be at least 12 weeks old before they can be vaccinated.
  • Wait 21 days after the primary vaccination before travel
  • Dogs must be treated against tapeworm 24-120 hours before landing, if they are travelling to a tapeworm free country (e.g. Republic of Ireland, NI, Finland, Norway or Malta).
  • Must get an animal health certificate (AHC) for their pet signed by an official vet, no more than 10 days before travel to the EU. A current EU pet passport issued in GB will not be valid for travel to the EU or NI from 1 January 2021.

For further information on pet travel from GB to Ireland, please click here. For more information regarding pet travel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland, please see the following link. 

The UK Government has indicated that rules for entry into GB with a pet dog, cat or ferret from the EU will not change after 1 January 2021, but it is advised that anyone planning a visit to the UK with their pet consult the UK guidance on the UK Government’s website.

Yes, Irish citizens resident in the United Kingdom, and British citizens resident in Ireland, have the right to vote in local and national parliamentary elections. The right to vote at local and national parliamentary elections will remain subject to Irish and British citizens having reached the established voting age and having registered on the electoral roll in their respective jurisdictions.