Tightening of UK immigration policies could see Irish citizens becoming vulnerable

Emma de Souza: Ambiguity around the legal status of Irish citizens in the UK could see them becoming vulnerable

Enrolment in the US-style Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme is mandatory for all EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK post Brexit, with the exception of Irish citizens who can choose whether or not to apply. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

Enrolment in the US-style Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme is mandatory for all EU citizens wishing to remain in the UK post Brexit, with the exception of Irish citizens who can choose whether or not to apply. Photograph: Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty

Having attracted global scrutiny for introducing a self-described “hostile environment” for illegal immigrants, Britain continues to introduce measures aimed at making life as difficult as possible for those who do not have the correct paper work. The intention is to encourage them to leave the UK voluntarily.

The home secretary Priti Patel recently confirmed that the British government plans to implement a US-style Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) system, which will be required for entry into the United Kingdom, with no mention of how such a policy would affect those living on the island of Ireland.

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