Northern motorists 'should have green card requirement in Republic waived'
MOTORISTS in Northern Ireland need the European Union to swiftly waive the requirement for them to carry green cards when travelling in the Republic, a councillor has said.
While motorists from the Republic do not need a green card to travel in the north, northerners require the card to drive in the south.
Aontú deputy leader and Mid Ulster councillor Denise Mullen said the EU Commission, which has the power to waive the need for green cards, must act quickly.
"There should be no visa requirement for any of the people of Ireland to travel across their own country," she said.
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín asked the Republic's transport minister Eamon Ryan about the issue in a Dáil question.
A written answer stated that Irish-registered vehicles do not require a green card on entering the UK, provided they display an insurance disc.
Since the Brexit transition period ended on January 1, UK drivers need a green card to drive in the European Union, including the Republic.
"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 written answer stated.
"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."
Ms Mullen said the Commission must 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," she said.