Fo­rum says Brexit-fac­ing Ire­land should have loos­ened its EU ties

Irish Independent - Business Week - - NEWS - Colm Kelpie

A THINK-TANK has ques­tioned why Ire­land didn’t fol­low Bri­tain in se­cur­ing an opt-out from the EU from the ‘ever-closer union’ clause.

In its anal­y­sis of the im­pli­ca­tions of a so-called Brexit, the Hiber­nia Fo­rum said it sup­ports the UK re­main­ing in the Euro­pean Union, but said com­mit­ting to an ever closer union means that mem­ber states have un­der­taken to po­ten­tially trans­fer their sovereignty to Brus­sels.

“We dis­agree with the blank cheque ap­proach to fu­ture trans­fers of pow­ers to the EU that the treaty com­mit­ment to ‘ever closer union’ rep­re­sents”, the anal­y­sis, by Hiber­nia Fo­rum chair­man Cor­mac Lucey, states.

“And we ask why, when Bri­tain re­cently won an opt-out from the com­mit­ment to ‘ever closer union’, the Ir­ish gov­ern­ment didn’t also seek this con­ces­sion?”

How­ever, it said that for the sake of Ir­ish na­tional and eco­nomic in­ter­ests, the UK should not vote to leave the EU.

Mean­while, Philippe Le­grain, econ­o­mist and for­mer pol­icy ad­vi­sor to for­mer Euro­pean Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent José Man­ual Bar­roso, will tell ex­ec­u­tives at a Brexit break­fast brief­ing or­gan­ised by the In­sti­tute of Di­rec­tors to­day in Dublin that the eco­nomic con­se­quences of an exit for the UK would be far more se­vere than re­main­ing within the EU.

Mr Le­grain said risks to Ire­land from a Brexit in­clude the im­pact on ster­ling, the dis­rup­tion to trade and im­pact on North­ern Ire­land.

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