The workshop, organised by the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS) and the Centre for Cross Border Studies (CCCB), took place at Queen’s University in Belfast and was attended by 40 participants. Parts of the workshop were broadcast live and followed by over 300 viewers online. The workshop was organised in the framework of the project ‘Brexit Takeaways’, which aims to raise awareness among citizens of the possible impact of different Brexit scenarios on their rights and advocate for the best possible deal for citizens. CCBS Director Ruth Soares opened the seminar by welcoming participants and setting the context for the workshop.
Anthony Soares, Deputy Director at the Centre for Cross Border Studies, looked into the special considerations of Brexit for Ireland and Northern Ireland. He paid particular attention to the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland, which pre-dates the UK and Ireland’s accession to the EU but has not been adequately provided for in UK or Irish law by the inclusion of a specific Act, while its existence is recognised by Protocols attached to EU treaties He also mentioned the 1998 Belfast/Good Friday Agreement, which allows citizens in Northern Ireland to identify themselves as either British or Irish, or both. Brexit could compromise both of these agreements by placing constraints on the ability of Ireland to offer reciprocity when the UK leaves the EU and by creating divergences in rights between those who hold British citizenship and those who hold Irish or dual citizenship, thereby potentially threatening the peace process. Deputy Director Soares also referred to the issue of cross-border workers, who cross the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland on a daily basis.
The presentations from all of the speakers as well as the event’s report are available below.
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