North/South immigration forum
In July, a range of organisations came together to explore the barriers to free movement and opportunities for establishing a mutual/single visa between the UK and Ireland.
This follows on the Irish government's short-stay visa waiver pilot for certain UK visitor visa holders travelling from the UK to the Republic.
Professor Bernard Ryan from the University of Kent set the background to the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland. Steve Symonds, Legal Officer of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association, analysed the legal and political implications of a mutual/single visa from the Westminster perspective. Buster Cox, legal adviser at the Law Centre and Hilkka Becker, senior immigration solicitor at the Immigrant Council of Ireland, outlined the impact of the current barriers to free movement on both sides of the border. Siobhan O'Donoghue of the Migrant Rights Centre shared the findings of a recent report on ethnic profiling.
Strategies were identified for taking this issue forward, including opportunities for working with other agencies, both governments and local representatives.
Photo (left to right): Siobhan O'Donoghue, Hilkka Becker, Steve Symonds, Bernard Ryan.