Monday 21 August 2017

Ireland must 'seriously consider Irexit' - says UK think tank

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Dean Gray

Ireland should give "serious consideration" to following Britain out of the EU, a right-leaning UK think tank said.

It could opt to remain with the UK in a customs and free trade area, while negotiating as favourable as possible trade and investment terms with the remaining 26 member states, Policy Exchange added.

Former Taoiseach Enda Kenny firmly rejected any suggestion that Ireland should leave the EU, saying the foundation of Ireland's prosperity and the bedrock of its modern society was membership of the European Union. A recent poll showed 88pc of Irish people think Ireland should stay in the EU.

But this report by the British research organisation said: "In the circumstances, Ireland must give serious consideration to other options, including Irexit."

The document was drawn up by Ray Bassett, a former Irish diplomat and commentator. It said Ireland faced a huge choice.

"Whatever the outcome of the Brexit negotiations, there will be a price to pay. For Ireland, there is really no upside to Brexit," it said.

"The question to be raised is what price is Ireland willing to pay to stand in solidarity with the remaining 26 EU countries?

"If the Irish Government is willing to pay that price, will the Dáil, and possibly the population in a referendum, be equally willing to do so?"

Irish Independent

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