After Brexit: will Ireland be next to exit?

Document type
Bassett, Ray
Policy Exchange
Date of publication
3 July 2017
Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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The decision by Britain to leave the European Union poses problems for all 27 remaining member States and none more so than Ireland. There is no other EU member more intertwined economically, historically, geographically and culturally with the United Kingdom. For those in the UK, who would have looked to Ireland as some form of benign EU sanctuary, the actual position is not nearly as positive. The huge choice facing Ireland is whether, given the circumstances, the country can live with the likely post Brexit arrangements and so stay a full member of the European Union; or whether a radically different relationship with the EU is required, including the possibility of an Irish departure from formal membership, an Irexit. To date, there has been precious little serious debate on this fundamental choice facing the country, in the event of the EU not agreeing to a full free trade deal with the United Kingdom.

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