Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Questions (616)

John Brady


616. Deputy John Brady asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection further to Parliamentary Question No. 519 of 24 September 2019, if the winter fuel payment from the UK will continue to be paid to persons living here that currently receive it post-Brexit in scenarios in which a deal is reached and not reached, respectively [39891/19]

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Written answers (Question to Employment)

My key area of concern is the impact of Brexit on those current reciprocal arrangements for social insurance (which includes pensions) and social assistance (means tested schemes linked to residency rights) and child benefit between Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland.

Post-Brexit, including in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Irish and British citizens will continue to enjoy the right to travel, live and work between the UK and Ireland in the same manner as before.  This is because of a long-standing arrangement known as the Common Travel Area (CTA).  The CTA pre-dates Irish and UK membership of the EU and is not dependent on it.  Both the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom are committed to maintaining the CTA in all circumstances and we signed a Memorandum of Understanding to that effect on the 8 May 2019.

As part of that commitment, the Government entered into a Convention on Social Security with the Government of the United Kingdom signed on the 1st February 2019, which replicates the current arrangements that apply to the coordination of social security benefits between the two jurisdictions.

In the event that the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified by the EU and the United Kingdom, the EU regulations with respect to the coordination of social security benefits will continue to apply to the UK until the end of the associated transitional period.  

At the end of the associated transitional period or in the event that the UK withdraws from the EU without ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement, the Convention on Social Security the Government signed on the 1st February 2019, will be given effect as required. 

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.