Anthony Coughlan, the director of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, said euroscepticism may grow on the island during the UK’s exit talks from Brussels.The economist added all the reasons why Ireland applied to join the then EEC in 1961 were the same reasons why it now should follow its closest neighbour out of the European Union.In a comment piece for BrexitCentral, Prof Coughlan said: “The Republic of Ireland applied to join the then EEC in 1961 because the UK did so.
“It joined along with Britain in 1973 for the same reasons: the UK was its most important single trading partner, and Dublin did not want the North-South border within Ireland to become the land frontier of an aspiring continental supranational federation.
PH • GETTY Anthony Coughlan said Ireland should follow the UK out of the European Union
“Now that the UK is leaving the EU, these remain the key reasons why the Republic should leave the EU along with (the UK).“Irish public support for leaving the EU is likely to grow in the course of the UK/EU negotiations, even if the Republic’s political establishment and media – probably Europe’s most europhile apart from Germany’s and France’s – are still in shock at the whole idea of Britain leaving.”
Prof Coughlan argued leaving the bloc was the only way to ensure a hard border did not emerge between the Republic of Ireland and the UK once exit talks between Theresa May and Brussels conclude.
He wrote: “The only guaranteed way of avoiding customs posts and passport checks on the North-South Irish border when the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union is for the Republic to leave the EU too.
The Republic should leave the EU along with [the UK]
“For the Republic to attempt to stay when the UK leaves would add further new dimensions to that border – ever more harmonised EU laws and rules on one side, for example in crime and justice, and British-based ones on the other.”The economist said there were other key reasons why it would make sense for Ireland to join the Brexit-bandwaggon.Prof Coughlan wrote: “A key one is that since 2014 the Republic has become a net contributor to the EU Budget, having been a net recipient for the previous 40 years.
“Easy money from Brussels, mainly under the Common Agricultural Policy, has always been the basis of Irish europhilia. If Dublin stays in the EU, it must in future pay more in than it gets back. It would have to pay more too to help make up for the loss of Britain’s payments.
“On the other hand, if it leaves along with Britain it would get back control of its sea fisheries, which are far more valuable for an island country than all the money it has ever got from Brussels.”It comes as a Danish MEP told Express.co.uk that if the EU decides to punish the UK for Brexit, it could result in Ireland leaving the bloc too.Anders Vistisen, of the Danish People’s Party, said: “In the European Parliament there is this sentiment of being angry, being disappointed in the British.
“But let’s be honest, the member states know that we are dependent on each other in security matters, and also in trade matters.
“From a Danish point of view, we would lose one of our biggest trading parties, same thing for Germany, same thing for the Netherlands and Belgium.
Mr Vistisen added: “Ireland is still a member of the European Union and when people think twice about this they’ll [realise] it would not be very wise to push Ireland towards also leaving the European Union.“I don’t think it’s realistic we are going to give [the UK] such a bad deal but I’m saying that would be the consequence. If you really want to punish Britain on trade then [Ireland leaving] would be the consequence.“If you are punishing someone on trade, you’re punishing yourself, it’s a bit of a crazy narrative, saying ‘you’re not going to gain access to our market’. Not everyone has access to the European market.”
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