Drivers going to North will need ‘green card’ in no-deal Brexit – Tánaiste

Motorists travelling to UK would have to prove they have valid car insurance

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau is expected to hand out 400,000 green cards to Irish motorists. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau is expected to hand out 400,000 green cards to Irish motorists. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP/Getty Images

 

Tánaiste Simon Coveney has confirmed that Irish motorists crossing into the North and Britain will have to have a “green card” to prove they are insured, if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Coveney reiterated his view that the prospect of no deal was still unlikely.

But he acknowledged that the card “will be available” to drivers, after the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland said such authorisation would be needed in the event of no deal being reached.

The Tánaiste was responding to Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary who asked Mr Coveney to confirm if there was a “legislative basis” for the cards, as no specific proposals were outlined in the contingency plans.

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“What are the plans to deal with practical issues such as insurance for communities who live on the Border or who have to travel regularly into the UK?” he asked.

Mr Coveney said that if there was no deal, the UK would be outside the EU directive.

“Just to give some guidance here, we’re all working to ensure it will not happen and in my view it won’t happen, but should there be a hard Brexit the UK, including Northern Ireland, will no longer be part of the motor insurance directive, which is an EU directive,” he said.

“This will mean a green card will be required to demonstrate to the authorities in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, if you’re driving there, that valid motor insurance is in place for those vehicles.

“So what the industry is saying, and what we’re saying, is this is an example of contingency planning in the industry. They will need to be able to show that if they’re stopped in the other jurisdiction, they will need to be able to show they have valid insurance.

“So if they carry the green card, which will be available to them, they will be covered in that regard,” the Tánaiste added.

The Motor Insurers’ Bureau is expected to hand out 400,000 green cards to Irish motorists.