Brexit and Ireland… April 19, 2016Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
…useful overview in the IT by Sylvia de Mars of the law faculty of Newcastle University and Aoife O’Donoghue a senior lecturer in law at Durham University. After considering the very complex web of relationships between these islands, and on them they suggest that:
From the perspective of both the UK and Irish governments, the citizens of either country, with some minor exceptions, are identical. Passport-free travel and ease of access to employment has been the norm since Irish independence. Joining the EU did not change this; but one of the two countries leaving may have significant consequences on how free the movement between them remains. In the aftermath of Brexit, Ireland would have to think long and hard about which relationship to prioritise: the 27-member EU with its Schengen area, or the stand-alone UK?
I don’t know whether this state can make that sort of a decision. On what side would the balance lie? How would it be effected? The idea that Ireland would opt out of the EU – whatever one thinks of that entity, in order to sustain that web of relationships seems difficult to believe. Yet something would have to be done.
Fundamentally as de Mars and O’Donoghue note that in the event of a Brexit all the assurances from the likes of Theresa Villiers that nothing would change seem dubious when one considers that:
… EU nationals with a right to reside in Ireland can become Irish citizens and gain access to the UK in a fully legal manner via the CTA. Second, that on Brexit, the UK-Ireland border would represent an external border to the EU as a whole. There are no other ‘external’ EU borders that do not come with concrete border controls, and while the UK and Ireland may have a special relationship, Ireland’s relationship with the EU will require it to protect the EU’s borders.
This is a bit like squaring a circle. At the least Brexit would appear to deepen divisions on this island – and again that is without making any value judgement about the EU.