Tuesday 24 January 2017

Electorate and elites at one on Brexit dangers

A poll finds we are hostile to Brexit, and a study finds Ireland is among the least corrupt countries globally

Published 12/06/2016 | 02:30

Passion: Former London mayor Boris Johnson is campaigning to leave the EU Photo: PA
Passion: Former London mayor Boris Johnson is campaigning to leave the EU Photo: PA

Apart from a handful of people such as the indefatigable and long-term opponent of European integration Tony Coughlan, almost everyone in Ireland who has thought hard about Britain leaving the EU, or whose economic interests will be impacted, believes a Brexit would be bad for us. That "elite" opinion so heavily supports the Remain campaign in the UK referendum in 11 days' time is not surprising.

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Any cold, rational calculation of Irish interests can only come down very strongly in favour of Remain. With the one possible upside (some jobs moving here from Britain) only partially mitigating the other economic and non-economic downsides, the case is open and shut from an Irish perspective at least. It is the proverbial no-brainer.

Despite a lot of talk in recent times about elites becoming disconnected from electorates, in this instance at least there is no such gap between the average voter and so-called elites in Ireland.

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