The Leave vote in the UK referendum poses a significant challenge to the Irish government and to the European Project.
This was the response of Independent MEP Marian Harkin when she called for the government to immediately assess the result and take steps to reassure citizens and Irish business by engaging immediately with the British government on matters of common interest.
“This result is a reflection of the failure of the EU to convince the citizens of the UK that they benefit from EU membership but it also reflects voter disenchantment with the main political parties”, she said. The close economic relationship between Ireland and the UK required that the EU should have special regard for that connection in any decisions taken as negotiations on leaving develop, she said.
“The vote to leave poses a major challenge to Ireland’s economy as it emerges from the trauma of recent years and the EU owes Ireland special consideration in any conditions governing the exit of the UK”, she said.
In particular there could be no change to the free movement of people within Ireland and no reinstatement of border, controls which would adversely affect economies on both sides of the border, Marian Harkin stressed.