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The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has provided a briefing on the Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal).

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Briefing on the Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill

Last Updated: Monday, 19 April 2021

Read the Commission’s briefing on the Immigration and Social Security Coordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill.

Date produced September 2020.

Below is a summary of the recommendations given in the brief.

You can also download the full document through the links provided.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC):

  • 2.5 recommends that clarity is provided on the Common Travel Area and that the associated rights are enshrined in law by agreeing a comprehensive bilateral treaty between the UK and Irish governments. The NIHRC further recommends that this agreement codifies reciprocal free movement rights and rights to employment, education, health and justice and security and that it is incorporated into domestic legislation on the basis of maintaining the same level of protection as exists during the transition period.
  • 2.13 recommends that the laws relating to citizenship and immigration are amended to reflect the birthright commitment in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement 1998 to identify, and be accepted, as Irish or British or both without any loss of rights or entitlements.
  • 2.18 recommends that consideration is given to narrowing the scope of Schedule 1 to ensure it is strictly construed and limited to those EU derived rights that are directly linked to the exercise of free movement.
  • 2.19 recommends that this Bill specifically preserves any EU derived rights or retained EU law that would fall under the scope of the commitment in Article 2 of the Ireland/NI Protocol to ensure that no diminution of rights, safeguards or equality of opportunity, as set out in that part of the 1998 Agreement entitled Rights, Safeguards and Equality of Opportunity results from its withdrawal from the EU.
  • 3.9 recommends that, to protect against the diminution of rights contained in Article 2 of the Ireland/NI Protocol, Irish citizens retain the more exacting substantive and procedural safeguards against deportation in Article 28 of the EU Citizens’ Directive and associated case law of the Court of Justice of the EU.
  • 3.10 advises that the Common Travel Area is built on reciprocation of rights and equality of treatment in both jurisdictions and consideration should be given to reciprocating the approach of the law in Ireland, which exempts British citizens from deportation in UK immigration law.
  • 3.14 recommends that NI born citizens who identify as Irish, be protected from deportation in any circumstances to meet the requirements of the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement 1998.
  • 4.4 recommends that the powers in clause 4 are narrowly drawn to preclude changes in immigration and any consequential laws and policies, which would impact on the human rights of people living in the UK. 5.4 recommends that there is clarification that all people who have already acquired, or are entitled to acquire, settled and pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme and that all Irish citizens resident in the UK will retain their existing social security rights.