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.

8 September 2015


Charles Flanagan TD, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Government of Ireland


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 advances 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 discusses bilateral trade and Ireland’s voice within the EU, as well as the potentially complex ramifications for the situation in Northern Ireland.