Revisions to the Political Declaration on the framework for future EU-UK relations

The UK and EU agreed a revised Political Declaration on the framework for the future UK-EU relationship on 17 October. This Briefing provides an outline of the contents of the Declaration and the key changes in the revised text …

Read more

The October 2019 EU UK Withdrawal Agreement

Boris Johnson’s Government have negotiated a new ‘deal’ with the European Union. It is formed of a Political Declaration and a Withdrawal Agreement. This paper focuses on the Withdrawal Agreement and how it compares to the one negotiated by Theresa May’s Government in November 2018.

The main differences are in the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland or the ‘backstop’ as it is commonly known. It contains very different arrangements, the UK will no longer be in a single customs territory or union with the EU. The UK will no longer be legally bound to continue with level playing field commitments at the end of the transition period.

Northern Ireland will still be in the UK’s customs territory and VAT area, however, the region will align with the EU’s rules in these areas. Northern Ireland will remain mostly aligned to the EU’s regulations for goods. Four years after the end of the transition period Northern Ireland’s democratic institutions will vote on whether they wish to continue the arrangements in the Protocol.…

Read more

Northern Ireland, Citizenship and the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement

The definition of ‘EEA citizen’ in the rules for the Home Office’s settled status scheme has recently changed. What are the consequences? How do these changes affect the people of Northern Ireland? Why are some people unhappy with these changes? What does British nationality law say about people born in Northern Ireland? How do these nationality laws interact with the birthright provision of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement? What does the European Convention on Human Rights say about identity and immigration? What do the people of Northern Ireland say when they are asked about their nationality? This paper looks at the complex issues behind all these questions.…

Read more

The UK’s future immigration system

After the UK leaves the EU the Government plans to implement a new, unified immigration system, which will apply to all people who come to the UK. According to the Government they intend to implement the future immigration system from 1 January 2021. This briefing sets out the current proposals for the future immigration system, although many of the details remain unknown. …

Read more

The Common Travel Area and the special status of Irish nationals in UK law

The Common Travel Area is a special travel zone between the Republic of Ireland and the UK, Isle of Man and Channel Islands. It dates back to the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922. This briefing focuses on how the CTA operates between the UK and the Republic of Ireland.…

Read more

British citizenship by naturalisation

This briefing explores the process for adults to become British citizens by naturalisation under the British Nationality Act 1981. The briefing considers the current requirements for naturalisation and provides some historical context. It addresses the requirements for naturalisation including the good character requirement and the requirement to show knowledge of language and life in the UK. It also address naturalisation fees over the past decade. …

Read more