Brexit, the Irish Border and Social Security Rights

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This paper will examine the implications of Brexit for social security rights as they affect Northern Ireland. The paper begins with a consideration of the UK-wide implications for social security arising from Brexit including the potential impact on rights derived from EU law and the legal challenges inherent in reconciling existing EU laws with new domestic UK legislation, with concerns over the potential for parliamentary or independent scrutiny of this process. The general constitutional and political uncertainties for Northern Ireland arising from Brexit are considered in order to contextualise the examination of the most prominent social security implications for Northern Ireland – and the Republic of Ireland – stemming from the issue of cross-border working and the aggregation and exportability of social security entitlements. The paper brings together the positions of the UK, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland and the EU, as of January 2018, to provide a robust assessment of the cumulative issues that that will impact on social security rights in Northern Ireland post-Brexit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-55
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social Security Law
Issue number1
Early online date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 18 Feb 2020


  • Brexit
  • social security
  • Northern Ireland
  • Ireland
  • EU law
  • cross-border working


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