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With Brexit becoming a reality, and the prospect of a ‘hard’ border in Ireland looming, could this now be a good time to work towards an agreed Ireland involving closer ties to the Commonwealth of Nations, together with other options such as the continuance of a relationship between Northern Ireland and the European Union as well as the Republic of Ireland? It seems that in this new climate, all options are on the table.
Image: Getty Images / Express.co.uk
We must understand the serious implications of Brexit for freedom of movement on this island, and among these islands, if we are not to return to the borders of the past.
Siobhan Mullally writes about these implications of Brexit in the Irish Times, and warns of its possible inevitability. Since this issue touches on issues of freedom of movement, and of citizenship, it ultimately may effect the parity of esteem of all the peoples who inhabit our islands and nations, our common home—both those who have been here for a long time, and those who are new to these shores.
A recent article by Brian Walker in the ‘Slugger O’Toole’ website examines another issue which may come into focus as a result of Brexit if we are to avoid a ‘hard border’, the issue of citizenship, and whether the concept of some kind of common citizenship options across these islands is something which perhaps needs to be considered. Could it be that in these Brexit times, acquiring dual citizenship (where possible) is the only way to remain British, Irish, and European?
Image: The Irish Times
There are only five ways to avoid a further hardening of the border on the island of Ireland:
- The United Kingdom does not leave the EU – after all.
- A united Ireland within the UK and outside the EU is agreed.
- A united Ireland outside the UK and within the EU is agreed.
- The EU breaks up and/or there is an Irexit in which case Ireland and the UK are free to negotiate whatever bilateral arrangements suit them.
- Some special status is agreed whereby Northern Ireland remains within the EU and the UK.
Article by Mary Kenny on why Ireland should re-enter the Commonwealth in the context of Brexit.
It left in 1949, not 1948. Australian Foreign Affairs Minister was very helpful in negotiating an exit with Attlee that would ensure Eire would get free movement of labour and trade benefits it enjoyed as a Commonwealth member. Canada also treated Eire as a Commonwealth member after it left. This led Churchill to say “When they were in they were out and when they were out they were in.’ It was like having your cake and eating it.
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