Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Ceisteanna (201)

Willie O'Dea

Ceist:

201. Deputy Willie O'Dea asked the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection if she has recently met with her UK counterpart; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [21504/18]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Employment)

I met with the UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Right Honourable Esther McVey, on Monday 23 April 2018.

My key area of concern is the impact of Brexit on the current reciprocal arrangements for social insurance and social assistance schemes and child benefit between Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland. The importance of maintaining the Common Travel Area was acknowledged in Prime Minister May’s letter of 29 March 2017 triggering Article 50 of the TEU, in the Joint EU/UK Progress report agreed at the European Council on 15 December 2017 and it is reflected in the protocol to the draft Withdrawal Agreement published by the Commission on 28 February 2018.

At that meeting, I emphasised my objective to ensure that the reciprocity of civic rights and social welfare rights and entitlements, which currently exist for Irish and UK citizens moving within Ireland and between Ireland and Britain under the Common Travel Area, are safeguarded and maintained.

It was a very positive meeting. I am happy that we have a broad agreement to preserve the status quo in the field of social security for both Irish and UK citizens moving within the Common Travel Area.

I hope this clarifies the matter for the Deputy.