“Brexit: The Irish Dimension” a comprehensive report published by British Influence and Anthony Bailey Consulting

BREXIT - The Irish Dimension report

Dublin, 16 June 2016. Anthony Bailey Consulting and British Influence published today a new and comprehensive report entitled Brexit: The Irish Dimension. The aim of this report is to contribute to the debate ahead of the Referendum of 23 June 2016 by informing the public of the likely impact that a UK vote to leave the European Union would have on Northern Ireland, Ireland and the Anglo-Irish relations.

The paper which has been informed by discussions in Dublin held over the past few months with several leading figures in Irish politics, media and government, focuses on the following main concerns and possible consequences of Brexit on the island of Ireland north and south of the border:

-the impact on its economy of the loss of the UK’s privileged access to the EU Single Market, most particularly for Northern Ireland’s businesses in Ireland, the rest of the EU and in those 60 countries with which the EU has free trade agreements;

-the disruption to its economy and society from the end of the free movement Common Travel Area and the reintroduction of border controls;

-the ending of the current extradition arrangements with Ireland (i.e. the European Arrest Warrant) making it harder for terrorist suspects to be extradited from one jurisdiction to another;

-disruption to the peace process, damage to relationships between North and South as well as the end of the relevant EU-funded programmes;

-potential disruption to the all-Ireland electricity market and the energy relationship with the UK;

-a diminution of the Irish influence in the EU because of the absence of the UK from key debates (and votes) about EU policy, especially those relating to trade liberalisation and competitiveness;

-a fissure on Anglo-Irish relations as Britain and Ireland would have chosen profoundly different paths without a guarantee that current relations would remain as they are.

13427901_1362700820413664_2202816832474848502_nProfessor Mary McAleese, long-serving former President of Ireland (1997-2011) and now Distinguished Professor in Irish Studies at St Mary’s University Twickenham launched the report in London on 16 June 2016 at Church House, Westminster, with Dr Charles Tannock MEP, Peter Wilding, Director of British Influence other parliamentarians, diplomats and business leaders.

Brexit would cause ‘turmoil’ and ‘radically change’ relations with Ireland, says the former Irish President. Ireland’s peace and prosperity is in danger if Brexit wins.

Professor McAleese said:

“The concerns of Ireland are legitimate and well-founded. They involve the economy, trade, immigration controls, the hardening of the land border, security, the weakening over time of the excellent current relationship between Ireland and the United Kingdom, the impact on the peace process and the impact on European development of Britain’s voice being absent from the European Union table. Reassurances that nothing will change… are wishful thinking at best and bluffing at worse.”

Anthony Bailey, Co-President of British Influence and Chairman of Anthony Bailey Consulting which sponsored the report, in a statement issued in Dublin said:

“As an Irish and British citizen I know that the people of Ireland, north and south, have a vivid interest in the question of whether or not the UK leaves the EU, for reasons of politics, culture, faith and family ties as much as economics. Like so many others with a stake in the Anglo-Irish relationship, I don’t want anything to derail the enormous progress we have seen over the last 20 years. Our mutual membership of the EU has enabled us to deal better with contentious issues of the past and to move our islands and its peoples forward and I hope that that reflected and fully appreciated in the referendum next week.”

In welcoming Prof McAleese’s contribution, Anthony Bailey said: “Growing up in London in the 1980’s with an Irish and Catholic background and nor was it at times when travelling home to Ireland having been born and educated in London and with a British accent to boot. […] It was during her Presidency that I felt taller and bolder to be proud of my Irishness in Britain and of my Britishness in Ireland and for that I will be forever grateful.”

The launch event took place in London on Thursday 16 June 2016 at Hoare Memorial Hall, Church House Conference Centre, Westminster.

To read the report, “Brexit: The Irish Dimensionclick here.

To read the speech of Professor Mary McAleese click here.

To read the speech of Anthony Bailey click here.

To read the report, “Brexit: What would happen if the UK voted to leave?” click here.

For more information on Anthony Bailey Consulting please visit www.anthonybailey.org

For more information on British Influence please visit www.britishinfluence.org