Belfast Telegraph

Republic urges the United Kingdom to stay in Europe

By Brian Hutton

The Republic has weighed into the heated row over the UK's future in Europe, warning that any exit from the EU would pull the two neighbouring countries apart just as they are forging historically close links.

Dublin's Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan said the Irish are dismayed at the prospect of the UK going it alone and could not simply sit by as debate intensifies ahead of a proposed make-or-break referendum on membership in 2017. In a direct plea to Britain, he said: "While I'm fully respectful of and sensitive to the internal democratic reflection under way within the UK, I cannot shy away from this debate.

"The UK's continued membership of the EU is hugely important to us and there is too much at stake to remain on the sidelines."

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