Northern Ireland news

People in north will have equivalent of European Health Insurance Card after Brexit

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the EHIC will no longer be valid

PEOPLE living in the north are to be given access to the equivalent of the European Health Insurance Card post-Brexit.

The free EHIC entitles people to state-provided medical treatment if they fall ill or have an accident in any EU country.

If the UK leaves with no deal, the card will no longer be valid.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said his cabinet had approved a proposal for draft legislation, however, which will apply whether people identify as British, Irish or EU citizens.

He told the Dáil yesterday that people would have health expenses refunded if they required emergency medical services in another EU country.

He added that he expected to have the legislation debated by October 31, the date Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK will leave the EU, with or without a deal.

Mr Varadkar did not outline how the measure would work or who would pay for it.

Earlier this year, Tanaiste Simon Coveney said the Republic would pay for citizens in the north, if necessary.

He said his government was working to ensure that "Irish citizens in Northern Ireland continue to be EU citizens in all circumstances".

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