Monday, 21 March 2016

Irish Times: EU links significant to strength of British-Irish relations

Irish Times: EU links significant to strength of British-Irish relations

by Damian Collins

A vote for the United Kingdom for leave the European Union, would be bad for Britain and Ireland.

We would be worse off as a ‘Brexit’ could restrict trade between our two countries, and tensions in Northern Ireland could increase if the free movement of people, goods and services on the island of Ireland comes to an end.


"People in London sometimes forget that although Britain could vote to leave the EU, we can not abolish it. We would not be able to come to a separate trade agreements with Ireland or any other individual member state, only with the EU as a whole. The consequences for the agricultural sector could be significant. The UK is Ireland’s largest agricultural trading partner, and takes around 35 per cent of Ireland’s food exports. The beef and dairy sectors in particular could be badly hit in the event of a Brexit.

There would then be the practical matter of trying to police the only land frontier between the UK and EU. If we were in different trading zones, there would have to be customs posts along the 300 odd miles of border. As Brexiteers want to impose greater restrictions on the movement of people from Europe into the UK, there would no doubt have to be full border checks as well."

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