Guide to Brexit

Brexit - what it means

On 23 June 2016, the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU). The UK leaving the EU is known as ‘Brexit’ (short for ‘Britain’ and ‘exit’).

On 29 March 2017, the UK gave notice to the European Council under Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union (pdf) of its intention to leave the EU.

What happens next

From 29 March 2017 the EU and the UK have 2 years to negotiate arrangements for the UK to leave. These 2 years can be extended, if the UK and the European Council agree. You can find more information in the Irish Government’s information note Brexit-About Article 50 (pdf).

It is important to note that the UK remains a member of the European Union. It will continue to remain a member while negotiations are taking place.

Brexit and you

If you are an Irish citizen living in the UK, your rights have not changed and will not change until new laws are made.

Similarly, if you are a UK citizen living in Ireland, your rights have not changed.

The current arrangements for social security between Ireland and the UK have not changed. All social welfare payments made by the Department of Social Protection, including pensions and Child Benefit, continue to be paid as normal.

Social security arrangements between the UK and the EU27 (the European Union members, not including the UK) have also not changed. This will be one of the many matters to be discussed as part of the negotiations.

The Citizens Information Board will be tracking any changes to rights and entitlements that are likely to affect Irish citizens in the UK and UK citizens in Ireland. We will update this webpage with information as it becomes available, with a particular focus on residence, employment, social welfare, healthcare, education and consumer law. We will also update the main information pages on

You can find out about the Irish Government’s preparations for Brexit on You can also sign up for the Government’s Brexit update emails.

Page edited: 29 March 2017