David Cameron’s demand for restrictions on EU citizens’ access to welfare will not apply to nationals from Ireland

The British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, has privately assured Ireland’s government that the hundreds of thousands of its nationals living in Britain would not be affected by any new conditions that may be introduced by the UK to restrict EU migrants’ access to the welfare system.

Hammond discussed benefits restrictions with Ireland’s foreign minister Charles Flanagan on two occasions in the past year – in December and in June – providing explicit assurances, according to an Irish government document seen by the Guardian.

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