Ireland–United Kingdom Relations

Ireland–United Kingdom Relations

British–Irish relations (or Anglo–Irish relations) are the relations between Ireland and the United Kingdom. The three devolved administrations of the United Kingdom, in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the three dependencies of the British Crown, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, also participate in multilateral bodies created between the two states. The Crown Dependencies are not part of the United Kingdom, but for the purposes of international relations, they are represented by the UK government.

Since at least the 1600s, all of these areas were connected politically, reaching a height in 1801 with the creation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Most of the island of Ireland seceded from the United Kingdom in 1922 as the Irish Free State. Historically, relations between the two states have been influenced heavily by issues arising from their shared (and frequently troubled) history, the independence of the Irish Free State and the governance of Northern Ireland. These include the partition of Ireland and the terms of Ireland's secession, its constitutional relationship with and obligations to the UK after independence, and the outbreak of political violence in Northern Ireland. Additionally, the high level of trade between the two states, their proximate geographic location and close cultural and personal links links mean political developments in both states often closely follow each other.

Today, Irish and British citizens are accorded equivalent reciprocal rights and entitlements (with a small number of minor exceptions) and a Common Travel Area exists between the Ireland, United Kingdom, and the Crown Dependencies. The British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference acts as an official forum for co-operation between the Government of Ireland and the Government of the United Kingdom on matters of mutual interest generally, and with respect to Northern Ireland in particular. Two other bodies, the British–Irish Council and the British–Irish Parliamentary Assembly act as a forum for discussion between the executives and assemblies, respectively, of the region, including the devolved regions in the UK and the three Crown dependencies. Co-operation between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, including the execution of common policies in certain areas, occurs through the North/South Ministerial Council.

Both Ireland and the United Kingdom joined the European Union (then the European Communities) in 1973. However, the three Crown dependencies remain outside of the EU.

Read more about Ireland–United Kingdom Relations:  Background, Good Friday Agreement, Co-operation, Political Movements, Immigration and Emigration, Culture

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