Brexit updates

Brexit updates

This document is a quick reference to Brexit-related updates across You can also read our overview documents What is Brexit? and Brexit and you.

Social Welfare

Brexit and social insurance payments

An agreement on social security was signed by Ireland and the United Kingdom on 1 February 2019. Under the terms of the agreement, all existing arrangements with regard to recognition of, and access to, social insurance entitlements will be maintained in both jurisdictions. This means that the rights of Irish citizens living in Ireland to benefit from social insurance contributions made when working in the UK will be protected and vice versa. Read more about Combining social insurance contributions from abroad.

Brexit and the Senior SmartPass

After Brexit, Senior SmartPass holders will still be able to travel in Northern Ireland on the bus and train. Read more about Free Travel in Ireland.

Brexit and Child Benefit

After Brexit, you will continue to get your Child Benefit as before, for example:

  • If you work in the UK and live in Ireland, you will continue to get your UK Child Benefit payment and Irish Child Benefit supplement.
  • If you work in Ireland and live in the UK, you will continue to get your Irish Child Benefit payment.
  • If you work and live in Ireland with your children and your partner works in the UK, you should apply for Child Benefit in Ireland.

Read more about Child Benefit.

Brexit and the State Pension (Contributory)

After Brexit, you will continue to get your Irish State Pension (Contributory) or UK State Pension, as before. Irish and UK citizens living in Ireland can still benefit from social insurance contributions made when working in the UK. Read more about State Pension (Contributory).

The Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection has also published Brexit-related FAQs.

Travel and Recreation

Brexit and driving in Northern Ireland and the UK

On 23 August 2019, UK transport authorities confirmed that, in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Irish drivers who wish to visit Northern Ireland and the UK will not need a Green Card to prove they are insured. UK-registered vehicles will need a Green Card if they plan to visit European Union countries, including Ireland, after a no-deal Brexit. You can find further information on Brexit and Green Cards from the Motor Insurers’ Bureau of Ireland (MIBI). Find out more about Motor insurance.

Brexit and UK driving licences

If you live in Ireland and have a UK driving licence, your licence will not be recognised here if there is a no-deal Brexit. You should apply to convert your UK licence to an Irish licence before Brexit to ensure that you can continue driving here if this situation arises. If there is an agreed Brexit, UK driving licences will continue to be recognised across the EU. The NDLS has a published a useful FAQ document on Brexit and driving licences. Find out more about Converting your driving licence to an Irish driving licence.

Brexit and travelling from the UK with pets

In the case of a no deal Brexit, the rules for bringing pets from outside the EU will apply if you are travelling to Ireland from the UK with your pet (pdf). The Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine has advice about preparing for Brexit and travelling with pets.

Money and Tax

Brexit and insurance cover

Most insurance companies selling policies from the UK and Gibraltar to Irish people are working to ensure services continue post-Brexit. There is also planned legislation to ensure services continue for existing insurance contracts for a three-year period.

If you have any concerns about an insurance policy, you should contact your insurance provider. You can read more in the Central Bank’s Brexit FAQ for Consumers. Find out more about Types of insurance.

Brexit and cross-border payments

The UK government has committed to keep its payment rules in line with SEPA post-Brexit.

If the UK is excluded from SEPA, there may be some additional costs for transfers in euro between accounts in the UK and accounts in the EU. Transfers may also take longer than you are used to.

You can find out more information in the Central Bank’s Brexit FAQ for Consumers. Find out more about Financial transactions with other EU countries.


Brexit and Erasmus+

The EU is preparing legislation to ensure that Erasmus+ students in the UK or UK students in EU Member States will be allowed to complete their programme after Brexit. Find out more about Erasmus+.

Brexit and studying in the UK

Irish students will continue to be able to study in the UK and apply for higher education courses using current systems.

Irish students will still be eligible for the same rate of fees as British students in the UK. The usual student grant scheme rules will continue to apply for Irish students studying in the UK. Find out more about Studying in the UK including Northern Ireland.


Brexit and mobile phone roaming

All mobile phone operators will be obliged to make you well aware of any roaming charges you could incur if you use your mobile device in the UK, after the UK exit the EU. However, operators will no longer be legally required to offer you roaming at no additional charge when you travel to the UK.

You should contact your provider directly if you have any concerns. Find out more about Mobile telephone networks.

Brexit and buying online from a UK business

EU consumer law will not apply to and in the UK after it leaves the EU. Current redress mechanisms, as provided for under EU consumer law, will therefore no longer be available. For example, if you are in a dispute with a UK-based trader, you may not be able to avail of the European Consumer Centre network or the European Small Claims Procedure.

However, consumers in Ireland can take individual action through the Irish Courts if they have purchased online from UK traders who do business in the EU. Find out more about Consumer rights in the European Union and Shopping from home.


Brexit and access to health services

The Department of Health Brexit Update confirms that Irish citizens and British citizens who live in, work in, or visit the other state will continue to have the right to access healthcare there. This will apply regardless of whether there is a deal or not.

Both the Irish and UK Governments are committed to continuing existing cross-border health services. These can be expected to continue even if there is no Brexit deal.

The Oireachtas Joint Committee on Health has published an interim report on the implications of Brexit for the health sector (pdf).

Find out more about Health services for visitors to Ireland.

Further information

You can get more information on the Irish Government’s preparations for Brexit on and in our document on Brexit information and supports.

Page edited: 4 September 2019