Research Areas & Staff
About the UK Group:
The UK Group is a long-running project that is dedicated to analysing the UK’s policy towards the EU and its implications for Ireland, Britain and Europe. It is chaired by Dáithí O'Ceallaigh and led by Dr. Paul Gillespie. The Group meets on a regular basis for discussions with experts and its events programme contributes to its deliberations.
The group has published a number of major reports on the subject over the past twenty years. The group’s first book, Britain’s European Question: The Issues for Ireland (1996), analysed Britain’s dual sovereignty problem and its crisis of political identity arising from the end of its imperial role and the end of the Cold War. The second book, Blair’s Britain, England’s Europe: A View from Ireland (2000), analysed the issues, options and implications of the period of transition from Conservative to Labour rule in 1997, the Belfast Agreement and Scottish devolution and the emerging European policies of the Blair government.
In 2009, the group began to focus on the European policies of the Conservative Party under David Cameron and published an interim assessment entitled David Cameron’s European Strategy. A subsequent publication in 2010, Coalition in Britain – Coalitions in Europe? An Analysis of the UK’s European Policy, brought the analysis up to date, taking account of the first few months of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the UK.
The UK Group is currently analysing the changing relationship between Britain and the EU and its possible implications for Ireland. As the Eurozone moves towards deeper economic and political integration, the group is assessing how this might impact on Ireland and Britain. It is also examining the implications of greater devolution in the UK, as well as the prospect of Scottish independence, for the British-Irish relationship and for Britain’s place in Europe.
Download "Towards an Irish Foreign Policy for Britain" here