Promoting Justice /
Protecting Rights

Formal complaint lodged with European Ombudsman over post-Brexit rights

CAJ has lodged a formal complaint with the European Ombudsman in relation to rights in Northern Ireland after Brexit.

We are concerned that previous promises to protect the rights of people in post-Brexit Northern Ireland are now at risk of being watered down.

In December 2017, the EU and the UK produced a joint report outlining the progress made during phase 1 of their Brexit negotiations. In this document, it was explicitly stated that Irish citizens from Northern Ireland would continue to enjoy rights as EU citizens after Brexit.

The same report also included a commitment from the UK to ensure that “no diminution of rights is caused by its departure from the European Union”.

However, we contend that since then there has been a significant and detrimental mistranslation of previous commitments. The draft Withdrawal Agreement, first published in February 2018 and updated in March 2018, appears to dilute much of what was originally promised.

Together with a number of directly affected individuals, we lodged an official complaint with the European Ombudsman on 20 September 2018 and now await a response.

The complaint has received widespread media coverage this week, including in an article by RTÉ Europe Editor Tony Connelly, which is available here:

Prior to making the complaint, we also wrote to the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, outlining our concerns. You can read this letter here.

Please any direct media enquiries related to this story to Robyn Scott, Communications & Equality Coalition Coordinator. Email or call 028 9031 6000.

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