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Untying the Knot? Ireland, the UK and the EU

14 Feb 2013

The IIEA paper, Untying the Knot? Ireland, the UK and the EU, written by Dáithí O’Ceallaigh and James Kilcourse, examines Ireland’s strategic options in the face of changing UK-EU relations.

Ireland must stay close to both the UK and Europe. This is the crux of the challenge facing Ireland as the UK attempts to renegotiate its position in the European Union. The relationship between Ireland and the UK has never been better, but David Cameron’s January 2013 speech on Europe heralds a long period of uncertainty for Ireland and the EU. The uncertainty surrounding the UK’s place in Europe is further intensified by the Scottish vote on independence in 2014.

Given that it stands to be one of the biggest losers from a UK withdrawal, it is crucial that Ireland adopts a far-sighted and well-balanced strategy for dealing with the possible implications. This paper assesses Ireland’s relationship with the UK and the EU in the context of the UK’s changing attitude to Europe. It presents a range of options and outlines how best Ireland can further its long-term strategic interests.

Direct download here

View the paper here 


As an independent forum, the Institute does not express any opinions of its own. The views expressed in the article are the sole responsibility of the author.


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Posted in: Future of Europe | 1 comment

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creadau says: 12 Mar 2013 13:39

Good overview of the likely options. I like the idea of Ireland acting in an interpretative role. I am wary of policy that is based on fear, and would like to see deeper discussion on what we want as a country, rather than what we're afraid of. I agree that Ireland needs to develop closer commercial relations with our other EU neighbours and not to rely so heavily on the UK. That also means learning a few foreign languages!

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