British voters will decide 23 June whether to remain in the European Union. If they opt for the so-called “Brexit,” the decision is likely to have significant impacts on Ireland and Northern Ireland, including the peace process, trade and other cross-border activity.
Here’s a sample of reporting in advance of the referendum. I’ll probably add a few more links before the vote, so email subscribers should check back for updates. Referendum results will be covered in a separate post.
Sinn Féin leaders have already signaled that if Northern Ireland is no longer part of the EU, the party will call for a vote on reunification with the 26 counties, as is their right under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.
Brexit could unravel Northern Ireland peace process
From Deutsche Welle (Germany)
[F]ears of border chaos may not be as far-fetched as they first appear. Even during the Troubles, people could move with relative ease between both jurisdictions due to an informal arrangement known as the Common Travel Area (CTA). But a recent report by MPs on the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee said that in the event of Brexit, the future of the CTA “would be put into question.” Irish Premier Enda Kenny recently raised the prospect of border controls being reimposed if Britain left the EU. Former UK prime ministers John Major and Tony Blair recently warned that Brexit could undermine the Northern Irish peace process and reopen the question of a united Ireland.
Brexit to prompt major cut in Irish growth forecasts, warns ESRI
From The Irish Times
The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has warned that its growth forecasts for the Irish economy will be downgraded significantly if the UK votes to leave the EU. The institute said uncertainty ahead of … [the] vote had already damaged Ireland’s trade position with several headline indicators pointing to a slide in export-related activity.
Central plank of Irish foreign policy imperilled by EU plebiscite
NewsLetter (Northern Ireland)
Although a Brexit would raise questions about the future of the UK … the most dramatic immediate political tremor will be felt in Dublin. A British exit from the EU would demolish a central plank of the Republic’s foreign policy towards Northern Ireland and would also push northern nationalism towards a strategic rethink. … [A] UK exit from the EU would push Dublin towards also leaving the EU within a relatively short timeframe.