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The economy predicted to be most negatively impacted by Brexit is not that of the United Kingdom (UK). It is that of Ireland, whose close trading relationship with the UK makes it peculiarly vulnerable to any deterioration in the trade now safeguarded by common membership of the European Union’s (EU’s) single internal market and customs union. Ireland is also the only state with a land border with the UK, the focus of a conflict with 3500 deaths which ended with the 1998 Good Friday Agreement. All this and the close linguistic, cultural and historical ties plus the existence of a common travel area between Ireland and the UK mean that the economic, political and social ramifications of Brexit for Ireland extend beyond those of other EU member states. The worried attention of Irish politicians and the public has unsurprisingly focused on the prospect of Brexit since before the 23 June 2016 vote. But how has this been reflected in the activities of the Irish legislature, the Oireachtas? What influence have Oireachtas members been able to exercise on the Government’s position on Brexit? Has the legislature brought any added value? This chapter seeks to answer such questions while examining the constitutional, procedural and party-political dimensions of Brexit in Ireland.
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- The Irish Parliament and Brexit
- Chapter 8