Partition by Degrees: Routine Exceptions in Border and Immigration Practice Between the UK and Ireland, 1921–1972
Journal of Law and Society, 2020
19 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 23, 2020
Using archival materials we reflect on the legal process of creating (and mitigating) a border in Ireland after partition in 1922 and interactions between those laws and the people they affected. After 1922 superficially durable exceptions developed to the territorial state’s distinctions between citizens and foreign nationals under the aegis of the Common Travel Area. They survived the 1930s UK-Ireland “Economic War”, were sustained (if in a restricted form) during the Second World War and rebuilt in its aftermath. These arrangements proved beneficial for both countries, providing an outlet for surplus labour for Ireland and a resource for the UK economy. We nonetheless explore how far practice reflected this overarching cooperative framework, particularly given the complications introduced by the policies of Northern Ireland’s institutions.
Keywords: Partition, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Common Travel Area, Trade
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