Speaking in the House of Lords, Lord Duncan of Springbank said that the Common Travel Area was ‘well crafted’ and has proven to be ‘resilient over the years’ to legal and political developments.
There has been much speculation that the UK’s decision to leave the EU could threaten the CTA as border checks may need to be imposed on the UK’s land border with the Republic of Ireland, which will remain a member state.
Baroness Smith of Basildon, the Shadow Leader of the House of Lords, asked Lord Duncan for an update on whether freedom of movement would continue within the CTA, in particular over the Irish border.
Despite a lack of clarity from the UK government over the matter, Lord Duncan said that the Common Travel Area would continue and is ‘staunchly protected’ by all of its member jurisdictions.
‘The Common Travel Area has proven to be resilient over the years, withstanding legal challenges, to which the noble Baroness referred, and new policy and political developments,’ he said.
‘It is a well-crafted arrangement – and in some respects, if only all legislation that we created could be as well crafted, we would be doing some service to the nation.
‘It has been staunchly protected by all its members, not just the United Kingdom but Ireland—and it has been welcomed by the Crown Dependencies as well. I have no doubt that it will continue to be so.’
He added: ‘The high level of collaboration with Ireland and the Crown Dependencies on border security, on strengthening the external border of the Common Travel Area and on promoting legitimate travel within this special travel area will continue.’