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Britain’s fraught relationship with Europe is analysed in this study prepared by Ireland’s leading think tank, the Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA).
The third in a series that stretches back over 20 years, the authors argue that the relationship has entered the endgame. If not managed with daring and imagination, it could result in Britain exiting from the European Union, perhaps unwittingly.
The consequences are examined under a number of headings, including: the political and economic future of the United Kingdom; its options for a new external relationship with Europe; the political impact on the European Union; the implications for Ireland, with particular reference to the economy; and on the totality of Irish-British relations, with special attention to the effect on Northern Ireland.
The threat of UK withdrawal requires a unique response. This study proposes a bespoke solution by creating a Union with four cores which would enable Britain to be simultaneously both inside and outside the Union. The proposal has the great merit of dealing with political realities and of preventing a potential disaster for all concerned.
The study closes with a series of recommendations for pre-emptive action by the EU as whole and by Ireland in particular.
The book is edited by Dáithí O’Ceallaigh and Paul Gillespie. It contains chapters by ten contributing authors: Tom Arnold, John Bradley, Tony Brown, Paul Gillespie, Brendan Halligan, Blair Horan, James Kilcourse, John McGrane, Edgar Morgenroth and Dáithí O’Ceallaigh.
It follows two previous books on this theme from the IIEA: ‘Blair’s Britain, England’s Europe – A View from Ireland’ (ed. Paul Gillespie, 2000) and ‘Britain’s European Question: The Issues for Ireland’ (ed. Paul Gillespie, 1996).