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Thread: Common Travel Area: UK-RoI travel

  1. #1
    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Default Common Travel Area: UK-RoI travel

    Think you don't need a passport to travel between the UK and Ireland? If you ask Aer Lingus, the Irish Embassy in London or the government they say you don't. If you travel from Ireland to the UK you'll never be asked for a passport.

    But if you try to return you risk arrest.

    I was detained in Cork airport because I flew from Heathrow with a photo-ID only. Aer Lingus let me on the plane.

    Initially I assumed the Garda was just off his rocker. but I researched it and found out that there is a dispute between the GNIB and the government on the issue. The GNIB reserve the right to demand passports from all people entering the state, while the government continues to advise the airlines and travellers that only photo-ID is needed.

    Ireland and the UK have an arrangement called the Common Travel Area which is supposed to allow Irish or British citizens to travel without passports. Britain respects the arrangement, and flights from the Republic land at the domestic sections of UK airports. No-one asks for a passport. The arrangement doesn't apply to non-UK or Irish citizens. But this is ignored in the UK.

    I had a question asked in the Dail of McDowell last March. He answered that while Irish and UK citizens don't need a passport to enter the state, they do need to prove their nationality. The only acceptable proof is a passport. (What a wonderful example of McDowell legalese fudge!) To date the government websites have not been updated - they still say only photo-ID is required.

    Why the confusion? Why the mystery?

    I found that out too. In the Amsterdam Treaty, Ireland got an opt out from the Schengen Treaty only while the Common Travel Area exists. If the EU got wind of the fact that the CTA has been quietly done away with, Ireland would be legally obliged to join Schengen.

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    Politics.ie Member QuizMaster's Avatar
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    Try travelling with minors. Even on an internal flight you need a passport.

    Imagine if we had to join Schengen and the UK didn't! Passports would be required to cross our border!
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    Politics.ie Member Aindriu's Avatar
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    You only need a valid Irish or UK photocard driving licence. Full licence only so. Provisionals cannot be used.

    I have never used a passport for travel between IRL/UK.
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    Very strange - came into Cork twice recently with photo-id and no passport without a problem.

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    You only need a valid Irish or UK photocard driving licence.
    That's true. But it will only be accepted if you were born in either Ireland or the UK. If you are a natualised citizen or born to Irish or UK parents abroad, you can't use it.

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    Politics.ie Member QuizMaster's Avatar
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    Is this a case of the photograph of your face not being bright enough, so to speak?
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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebel CNC
    Very strange - came into Cork twice recently with photo-id and no passport without a problem.
    Its up to the mood of the Garda on the day. I was talking to a Senator who was flying with a UK MP to Kerry airport. The MP didn't bring a passport. The Garda on duty took a dislike to the MP and nearly refused him entry.

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuizMaster
    Is this a case of the photograph of your face not being bright enough, so to speak?
    Nope. I'm a pasty pink colour. Didn't get any holidays this summer and the weather's been dire. I was born in Ireland too.

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    Politics.ie Member setanta's Avatar
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    Always travel between Ireland and Britain with a passport.

    Down with the CTA, roll on Schengen.

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    Politics.ie Member seabhcan's Avatar
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    Another detail I discovered: Normally the airline has an obligation to ensure that passengers have the correct documentation for their destination. They can be fined for mistakes.

    Except there is a specific exemption in both the Irish and British laws for people flying within the CTA.

    I wrote a complaint to Aer Lingus about the bad advice they gave. They told me to F-off.

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