For Ireland, Brexit Is No Small Matter

Oct 19, 2017 | 17:52 GMT

The United Kingdom forms a physical barrier between the island of Ireland and the rest of the European continent.

The future status of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland is one of the stickier questions that must be answered by Brexit negotiators.



  • Britain's exit from the European Union threatens not only Ireland's economic model, but also the stability of Northern Ireland.
  • Ireland's main goal in the Brexit negotiations is to avoid the introduction of a "hard border" between it and Northern Ireland, which could aggravate the historical tensions between the two parts of the island.
  • Dublin is also resisting a push by France and Germany to standardize corporate taxation across the bloc.

While the United Kingdom is at the center of the Brexit, its neighbor, Ireland, has almost as much at stake in the negotiations over its departure from the European Union. The Emerald Isle, an EU member, is watching its largest trading partner end the arrangements that allow goods, people, capital and services to move freely between them. Ireland is concerned that the split could increase the potential for violent unrest in Northern Ireland, the part of the island that is in the United Kingdom. Finally, as Anglo-Saxon influence in Europe decreases with the United Kingdom's departure, the European Union could move in directions detrimental to Ireland's economic model. While Ireland will be unable to shape these much larger forces, it can try to make its voice heard by both sides in the negotiations, and if the final Brexit deal does not meet Ireland's needs, it can change its circumstances by...

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