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Irish citizens expected to retain special status in UK post-Brexit

Irish citizens expected to retain special status in UK post-Brexit

Irish citizens are expected to have their special status in the UK protected post-Brexit, according to David Davis.

The Brexit Secretary told MPs he believes there will be no change to what is enshrined in law in the Ireland Act 1949.

This legislation established the special status in which the Republic of Ireland is regarded "not a foreign country" for the purpose of UK laws.

Speaking in the Commons, SNP MP Martin Docherty-Hughes (West Dunbartonshire) told Mr Davis: "My constituents share an issue, share a concern already brought to the floor of this House by myself and also (Mark Durkan, SDLP MP for Foyle) about the relationship with our closest neighbour and with our border with the sovereign nation of Ireland, in which the Ireland Act 1949... they talk about the common travel area but there's no answer to this question yet.

"Would you, here on the floor of the House, say here and now that there will be no change to the rights of Irish citizens as dictated by the Ireland Act, amended in 1949?"

Mr Davis replied: "It's a very specific question and forgive me if I did not answer it before because I intend to.

"I will write to you in detail but I think the answer is there will be no change.

"The aim, as I said to you before, is that the common travel area rights - including the rights to vote, the rights to work and so on, both ways - will continue but I will come back to you about the detail."