British-Irish Relations: Implications of a Possible Brexit
Charles Flanagan TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Ireland
Chair: Dr Robin Niblett CMG, Director, Chatham House
With an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU due before the end of 2017, the Irish government has stated that it will not remain neutral on the issue. Ireland is the only country to share a land border with the United Kingdom; every week the two countries trade about €1 billion worth of goods and services; and some studies have suggested that an ‘out’ vote could cost the Irish economy between 2% and 12% of its GDP depending on the settlement of any post-exit terms. As such, Ireland has a strong vested interest in keeping the UK within the European Union.
Charles Flanagan TD will advance the Irish government’s perspective on the consequences of a possible Brexit and on the case for continued UK membership of the EU in terms of Irish-British relations. The minister will discuss bilateral trade and Ireland’s voice within the EU, as well as the potentially complex ramifications for the situation in Northern Ireland.