Kelleher calls for Common Travel Area to be enshrined into Irish and British law

Published on: 18 January 2022

Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has called for the Irish Government and, in particular, the British Government to transpose the Common Travel Area (CTA) into domestic legislation in both jurisdictions.Kelleher made the call following a similar request from his SDLP Derry colleague, Sinead McLaughlin MLA.“The CTA is an inter-governmental agreement and not an act of either the Oireachtas or the British Parliament. As such, the rights enshrined in the CTA are not as well protected as they should be.“We only have to look at the Borders and Nationality Bill that was debated in Westminster before Christmas. That bill would have serious ramifications for a significant number of people on the island of Ireland if it passed.“Sadly, it is neither responsible nor prudent to leave the CTA on its existing inter-governmental basis simply because the current British Government cannot be trusted to respect its principles.“Transposing the CTA into domestic legislation would protect citizens and ensure that no government could unilaterally diminish their rights.“Now that the UK is out of the European Union, it is also sensible to place the important rights contained in the CTA on a firmer legal footing. Our mutual EU membership, in many ways, negated the CTA. With Brexit, things have now changed and it is essential that we protect this important agreement and the rights it provides.“I have written to An Taoiseach requesting that this government raises this issue with the British Government and begins the process of drafting legislation to be enacted by the Oireachtas,” concluded Kelleher.

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