The Common Travel Area

On this page, you will find all the work we are doing on the Common Travel Area (CTA). The CTA is a concept that most in the UK and Ireland are familiar with, but not necessarily for what it is: as a set of tacit agreements that are directly impacted by the UK's exit from the EU, and that need to be brought on to a firmer legal footing.

Workshop Participants Sought

The Performing Identities research team will be soon holding workshops that will build an understanding of what it means to be Northern Irish. At the workshops we will explore lots of different ideas on identity so we are looking for people from any background who are prepared to discuss this. The workshops will feed into research and creative materials and you will have a say in what the most useful materials are, and how you would like them to be designed.

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Common Travel Area Memorandum of Understanding: a Brexit consolation prize?

Colin Murray writes for the LSE Brexit Blog… ‘With the end of Theresa May’s premiership the Withdrawal Agreement she had concluded with the EU receded out of her reach, in a “here’s-what-you-could-have-won” game-show moment. But what does she take home? What international agreement can be set against her three-year tenure in Downing Street? The Common Travel Area Memorandum of Understanding, concluded in May 2018, could be cast as her solitary “set-of-steak-knives” consolation prize’.

Read the whole blog here.

CTA deal ‘a step in right direction but more needed’

Aoife O’Donoghue is quoted in this piece in the Irish News on the Common Travel Area agreement.

She said that the memorandum of understanding is a way of putting “Irish and UK citizens on a much firmer footing”. 

Although an international treaty would be “preferred”, Prof O’Donoghue said the new rules can be used by courts to interpret domestic legislation, including provisions in Theresa May’s withdrawal agreement. 

“There still remains a whole host of issues, especially for those living in Northern Ireland, but this is a positive step forward,” she said.

Deal giving reciprocal rights for British, Irish citizens is signed

Colin Murray is quoted in this piece in the Irish Times by Dennis Staunton. He said about the Common Travel Agreement: “It is being concluded now because there is a period of relatively low tension in the Brexit negotiations, because the Irish and UK governments being seen to work together supports the drive towards a deal on restoring power-sharing institutions within Northern Ireland, and because, from the Irish Government’s perspective, Theresa May might not be long in office, and the CTA therefore needs to be locked down.”

Read the whole piece here.

ICON Conference

The research team attended and presented at the ICON Society (UK and Ireland) conference hosted by the University of Strathclyde. The papers presented were titled:

de Mars, ‘Making it (Even) More Complex: Plucking Trade from its Nest’

Murray, ‘Futureland: Northern Ireland after Brexit’

O’Donoghue, ‘Life after Brexit: Referenda, International Law and Unifying Ireland?’

Warwick, ‘Disappearing Rights under the Draft EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement’

They will find their way into written and published form shortly!

Presentations by the Research Team

As the UK approached one of its Brexit deadlines, March and Early April proved a busy period for presentation gigs! The research team presented the following papers:

  • Murray, ‘The Strange Case of Disappearing Rights in the UK-EU Withdrawal Negotiations’, Leeds University, SLSA Annual Conference (5 April 2019).
  • Warwick, ’Northern Ireland as a Perpetual Outsider’, Leeds University, SLSA Annual Conference (4 April 2019).
  • O’Donoghue, ‘Lessons from Brexit’, Wolfson College, Cambridge (29 March 2019).
  • Warwick, ‘What’s so wrong with the backstop anyway?’, Institute of Advanced Studies, Birmingham, Intercontinental Academia Programme (19 March 2019). 
  • Murray, ‘Brexit and the Common Travel Area’ NUI Galway (7 March 2019).