Note for Journalists;

Please see Parliamentary Question Below.

Aontú Deputy Leader & Cllr for Mid Ulster Denise Mullen has stressed the need for a prompt decision on waiving the green card requirement for Northern motorists seeking to drive in the South of Ireland. Her call comes as an answer to a Parliamentary Question issued by Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD by the Minister for Transport in the south states that while there is a waiver now the long term decision is yet to be made.

Cllr Denise Mullen:

“Brexit is done, and the transition period over, it is now left to us to try clean up the mess left behind and build the bridges burned by this Boris Johnson-led fiasco. One of the principal issues in this regard, and one that requires immediate attention, is whether motorists from the North of Ireland now require a green card to drive in the 26 counties. I welcome the fact that motorists from the South of Ireland will not require a green card visa to drive in the North, however we cannot have a situation where there are disparate legal requirements across the 32 counties depending on what part of the country you live in. There should be no visa requirement for any of the people of Ireland to travel across their own country.”

“The decision as to whether to waive the Green Card requirement for motorists from the North of Ireland driving in the South, is one within the remit EU Commission. I urge the Commission to act swiftly to rectify the disparate standard on the island of Ireland and to waive Green Card requirements for Northern motorists. Thousands of businesses and households are reliant on cross-border commerce on both sides of the border, and are already struggling with the additional red tape imposed by Brexit, waiving the Green Card requirement would go along way to supporting border communities and businesses. Failure to do so reinforces partition, and gifts hard Brexiteers the hard border they wanted by construction.” CRIOCH

QUESTION

To ask the Minister for Transport if motorists from Northern Ireland now require a green card to drive in the 26 counties; and if there will be changes to requirements to drive in the south for motorists from the north post-Brexit.

REPLY

As of 1 January 2021 the post-Brexit transition period ended. The default position from that date is that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will no longer be treated like a European Union Member State. It will therefore no longer benefit from the provisions under which EU members are not subject to the general international requirement of proof of insurance, known as a Green Card in Europe, for travel within the Union.

For Irish-registered vehicles entering the UK (including Northern Ireland), UK authorities have indicated that Irish insurance discs meet the UK legal requirements for proof of insurance. This means that Irish-registered vehicles will NOT require a Green Card on entering the UK, provided they display an insurance disc. As this is a matter of UK law, it is open to the UK to determine whether to continue with this arrangement in the longer term.

The position regarding UK-registered vehicles (including vehicles from Northern Ireland) entering the EU, including Ireland, is a matter that is governed within the framework of EU law, as well as international conventions. Under EU law, the European Commission may set a date from which the requirement for Green Cards from a specified Third Country (i.e. non-Member State) will be waived. The EU Commission has yet to make a decision on whether/when to waive the requirement for Green Cards for UK-registered vehicles entering the EU.