Yesterday new arrangements for English football were published which detail the changes that are coming to football as a result of Brexit. Non UK players will require work permits and clubs will be locked out of signing U18 players from abroad.
For Irish players this creates unique situation. Irish footballers will not require a work permit to play in the UK thanks the the Common Travel Area between the UK and Ireland and adult footballers should not be impacted although questions remain about players u21 but over 18 players under 18 present a different issue. At present FIFA Regulations effectively ban any club signing a player from abroad who is under 18. The same regulations however do contain an exception for EU countries where players can be signed at 16 subject to a number of conditions once the UK finally completes Brexit unless there is a change to FIFA regulations or some express compromise agreed then the FIFA regulations are clear: UK clubs will be locked out of signing Irish players until they are 18.
Also implications in terms of training compensation that must be paid to a player's training clubs. When a player moves within the EU this amount is often capped at a lower level than if a player moves outside the EU. Irish schoolboy clubs will be due a bigger fee post Brexit. There is however increased confidence emerging from English clubs that they will not suffer the consequences of Brexit when it comes to young Irish players. I wrote this in last February and nothing has changed since. It is not clear what the English clubs' confidence is based upon as of yet.
Unless there is an Irish specific amendment to the FIFA RTSP or some understanding regarding interpretation is reached (which would presumably require the approval of the FAI) it is hard to see how the situation for Irish u18 players wont change on 1 January 2021.