Lord Kilclooney: Brexit will bring the Republic closer to the UK again

Screen grab of Michel Barnier addressing Ireland's parliament at the Houses of the Oireachtas, where he said there is no reason why the European Union cannot have a "strong relationship" with the UK after it leaves the bloc but Brexit will inevitably have consequences. Photo: Houses of the Oireachtas/PA Wire

Screen grab of Michel Barnier addressing Ireland's parliament at the Houses of the Oireachtas, where he said there is no reason why the European Union cannot have a "strong relationship" with the UK after it leaves the bloc but Brexit will inevitably have consequences. Photo: Houses of the Oireachtas/PA Wire

It is at last recognised that the Republic of Ireland will suffer more than any other European Union nation, if it remains within the EU, from Brexit.

The Irish Central Bank has estimated that 40,000 jobs will be lost and its agriculture industry, which exports 60% of its production to the UK, will be decimated.

Already five mushroom production units have closed down and Irish beef producers have protested because meat exports to the UK are falling.

Irish farmers are becoming restless at this threat to their economy!

The border between the UK and the Republic of Ireland will remain. There is no question of a united Ireland. That is the kind of nonsense some nationalists peddle in order to conceal the real threat to the southern Irish economy.

The reality is that Brexit will create economic circumstances which will bring the Republic closer to the UK again.

The UK will not be erecting customs posts on the Northern Ireland side of the border but Dublin will be required by Brussels to create customs posts on the southern Irish side of the border.

That is what Mr Barnier of the EU means when he says “that the Republic will have to accept the integrity of the EU Legal Order”.

Brexit creates a serious economic and political challenge to the Republic. In the Brexit negotiations the UK should support a ‘Special Status’ for the Republic within the EU.

That is if the Republic, after two years of reflection, still wishes to remain an EU nation.

Rt Hon Lord Kilclooney, Former MEP. Mullinure, Co Armagh (10 miles from border)

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