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Irish problems would be with EU and not UK

Published 16/06/2016

Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor
Belfast Telegraph letters to the Editor

The various commentators and politicians expressing concern over the possible effects of Brexit on British-Irish trade, immigration and the border with Northern Ireland seem to be ignoring the fact that any problems would not be caused by Britain’s exit, but rather by continued Irish membership of the EU.

Britain and Ireland have had a common travel area since 1923 and undoubtedly Britain would be happy for that to continue. Similarly, Britain would be happy to continue free trade with Ireland without border posts.

If there are to be any restrictions they will be imposed on Ireland at the behest of the EU — not by Britain.

If the EU is really interested in Ireland and its national interests, then it would accept that the geographical position of Ireland means that it will need to negotiate travel and trade agreements with Britain directly, rather than via Brussels.

If the EU is not willing to allow Ireland to do this (and Ireland accepts that), surely that is a betrayal of the independence that Ireland fought for 100 years ago?

NEIL ADDISON

(BARRISTER-AT-LAW)

New Bailey Chambers,

Liverpool

Belfast Telegraph

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