UK immigration policies


Sir, – Emma de Souza’s article “Tightening of UK immigration policies could see Irish citizens becoming vulnerable” (Opinion & Analysis, June 2nd) fails to acknowledge the special and exceptional status that Irish citizens enjoy in the United Kingdom.

In particular, the description of the system as “ad hoc” fails to recognise or engage with the Ireland Act 1949, which declares that Ireland “is not a foreign country for the purposes of any law in force in any part of the United Kingdom” and that any “references in any Act of Parliament, other enactment or instrument whatsoever . . . to foreigners, aliens, foreign countries and foreign or foreign-built ships shall be construed accordingly”.

As a consequence, citizens of Ireland are not to be considered “aliens” in the UK but are instead to be afforded the same rights and privileges as any UK citizen.

Therefore, the comparison to other EU nationals is wholly erroneous and the attempts to stir concern and fear in the heart of Irish nationals in the UK are fundamentally misguided. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6W.

Sir, – Emma de Souza asserts that “ambiguity around the legal status of Irish citizens in the UK could see them becoming vulnerable to hostile immigration practices”.

The British government’s own website states that anyone with Irish citizenship “does not need to apply” for settled status.

Equally, in relation to the Common Travel Area (CTA), it states, “Under the CTA, British and Irish citizens can move freely and reside in either jurisdiction and enjoy associated rights and privileges, including the right to work, study and vote in certain elections, as well as to access social welfare benefits and health services”, and emphasises that both UK and Ireland signed a mutual memorandum of understanding reaffirming a joined commitment to the maintenance of the CTA in May 2019.

Respectfully, I don’t see much ambiguity in that. – Yours, etc,