Common Travel Area (CTA) Employers, workers, citizens beware!
The CTA is a special arrangement which allows free movement of people between the UK and Ireland which is extremely important in the daily lives of citizens, particularly in the border region:
- 30,000 people commute to work across the border
- 841 flights per week between Dublin and London the busiest route in Europe
The CTA is not just about travel, it provides reciprocal rights for the citizens of the UK and Ireland:
- unrestricted access to employment and social welfare;
- access to healthcare and education;
- the right to vote in local, national elections.
The special arrangement dates back to 1922 to an agreement between the British Government and the new Irish Free State.
The status of Irish citizens in the UK was formalised by the ‘Ireland Act 1949’ which states that “Ireland is not a foreign country for the purpose of any law in force in any part of the United Kingdom”.
The Irish government responded with ‘Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies (Irish Citizenship Rights) Order 1949’ which provided that UK citizens enjoy the same rights in Ireland as Irish citizens in the UK.