February 24, 2017

Brexit scenarios for cross-border workers

On 23rd February 2017 Annmarie O’Kane spoke at the Stronger Together Brexit Conference, which took place in STEP, Dungannon.

Annmarie briefly outlined the technical aspects of the process of leaving the EU and presented a number of possible scenarios based on already existing arrangements between other countries and EU.

Using data from a recently prepared ECAS report Annmarie compared the scenarios in terms of rights of entry, rights of residence, rights to access the labour market, rights to do business and provide services, social security rights, voting rights, rights to non-discrimination, consumer protection and access to EU institutions.

Participants were staggered by the numbers of people affected – 3 million EU citizens living in the UK and over 1 million British citizens living across the EU. There are also approx. 24,000 – 30,000 cross-border workers the island of Ireland. These individuals need to be informed of their rights and entitlements, especially when they have employment across borders.

In the final part of the workshop a number of points were made on how people can prepare for Brexit such as: organize themselves, retain documentation, secure their immigration status as soon as possible, publish information on websites. The group agreed that dissemination of reliable information is crucial and whereas there is a lot of ‘unknowns’, there are some ’knowns’ and those should be published widely so people are better informed.

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