Getting Ireland Brexit Ready

The UK left the EU on Friday 31 January 2020 on the terms set out in the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Protocol on Ireland/Northern Ireland. 

Although the UK will no longer be a member of the EU, the Withdrawal Agreement provides for a transition period up to 31 December 2020.

On 24 December, the EU and UK negotiating teams reached agreement in principle on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which will come into effect from the end of the transition period.  The Agreement will provide for tariff-free, quota-free trade and for sectoral cooperation in a number of important areas. 

The Agreement also includes cooperation on law enforcement and criminal justice. In particular, the EU and the UK have agreed to establish a new framework for law enforcement and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. This will allow for strong cooperation between national police and judicial authorities, including with respect to mutual legal assistance and extradition. The Agreement commits the EU, its Member States and the United Kingdom to continue to respect democracy and the rule of law, and protect and give domestic effect to fundamental rights such as those set out in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).  The Agreement also includes a bridging mechanism, subject to certain conditions, pending the adoption of data protection adequacy decisions, such that for a specified period transmission of personal data from the EU to the UK is not regarded as a transfer to a third country.

As part of our commitment to helping Ireland get Brexit ready, and to reduce its effect as much as possible, the Department of Justice has been working with stakeholders to identify issues that may affect our sector post-Brexit. The links below provide information on how key areas will be affected from 1 January 2021.  A non-exhaustive list of justice related Orders and Regulations to be amended by Statutory Instrument is also available here:  Brexit - Orders and Regulations.


Family Law: Click here for information on Maintenance Cooperation, Parental Responsibility, Divorce RecognitionImmigration: Click here for information on travel and visas.Firearms and Explosives: Click here for information on firearms and explosivesCivil and Commercial Law: Click here for information on civil and commercial law