Government to legislate to extend European health insurance card cover to Northern Ireland

Draft legislation to extend the European health insurance card to all residents of Northern Ireland has been announced by the Government.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said legislation would be in place by the end of October, when the UK is currently planning to leave the European Union.

Mr Varadkar said: “The Minister for Health got approval this morning from the Cabinet to draft legislation. We intend to have that done by 31 October.

“That means that Irish, EU and UK citizens living in Northern Ireland will still be able to have their health expenses refunded should they require emergency medical services in another part of the European Union.”

He also announced new legislation to “ensure that UK residents in Ireland will still be able to avail of the national childcare scheme”.

The Government is also considering whether it is necessary to introduce legislation to “reduce the minimum living-apart period for spouses applying for a divorce to address the implications of a no-deal Brexit for the recognition of UK divorces”, he said.

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