Donohoe to warn of fallout for Ireland from British EU withdrawal

Britain debate could have profound consequences for Ireland

Minister of State for Europe Paschal Donohoe to speak at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Minister of State for Europe Paschal Donohoe to speak at the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fri, Nov 1, 2013, 08:21

Minister of State for Europe Paschal Donohoe will sound a warning today about the negative consequences of a British withdrawal from the EU.

As British debate intensifies over the in/out referendum on EU membership promised by prime minister David Cameron, Mr Donohoe will say it is far better for Ireland and Britain to work together as equals within the EU framework.

In a speech to the Institute of International and European Affairs in Dublin, he will say the Britain debate could have profound consequences for Ireland. His remarks are an effort to encourage greater reflection in Ireland on the British debate.

“We welcome the discussion on the role of member states within the EU,” he will say.

“But I am worried about the consequences of a discussion on the role of the UK outside of the EU. Suggestions that not much would change in practice are wide of the mark.

“Both of our countries work together as equal members of the union. We are inside the tent, together. If we have to meet at the door of the tent to do business then this relationship will change. This should be avoided.”

Without describing the adverse impact on Ireland from any British withdrawal, Mr Donohoe will say the EU is stronger with Britain inside the union as a committed member.

“Ireland is an integrated and committed member of the EU community. And will remain so. On such a vital topic of national interest we will not be caught in the slipstream of decisions that others make.”