Brexit would affect Ireland most, warns ambassador
The UK Ambassador to Ireland has conceded a so-called Brexit from the European Union is likely to be felt more profoundly here than in other member states.
Dominick Chilcott made the remarks at the Fine Gael ard fheis ahead of Taoiseach Enda Kenny's visit to London today where he will meet Prime Minister David Cameron.
The pair will discuss the EU/UK negotiations and review developments in Northern Ireland. Mr Kenny will also address Irish and British business leaders at an event organised by the British Irish Chamber of Commerce and the Irish International Business Network.
The British government is hoping to secure a deal on change and reform of EU rules by the European Council meeting next month. Mr Chilcott said reforms would be sought on sovereignty, competitiveness, economic governance and to migration rules, which he said is the "most difficult, most politically sensitive" to achieve.
He said if Britain voted to exit the EU, Ireland would be one of the countries most affected.
"Ireland is by almost every measure right at the top of the list of the UK's closest and most important neighbours," he said.
"The consequences of change in Britain's EU status are likely to be felt more profoundly here than in other member states."
Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said a Brexit would be "a leap into the unknown".