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Government agrees deal to protect social security rights of UK and Irish citizens living and working in each other’s state

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The UK and Ireland are working closely together to protect the rights of UK and Irish citizens in each other’s state, as part of the commitment to maintain the rights associated with the Common Travel Area – a long-standing arrangement between the UK and Ireland.

Today (4 Feb) the UK government has announced an agreement on social security with Ireland in the context of the Common Travel Area arrangements, guaranteeing continued access to State Pension and benefits for UK and Irish citizens and their qualifying family members when in the other’s state.

The agreement ensures that the rights of UK and Irish citizens living and working in each other’s state are protected after the UK leaves the EU. Specifically, that workers only pay into one social security scheme at a time. It also provides for the export of certain benefits between the UK and Ireland.

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It also ensures that social security contributions paid by UK and Irish citizens can be used to meet entitlement criteria for accessing benefits in each other’s state.

The Common Travel Area arrangements have their origins in the 1920s and ensure that British and Irish citizens can move freely between and reside in these islands and enjoy a range of associated rights and privileges, including access to social security benefits.

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