It has become commonplace in Ireland to think about the Brexit vote, and, more particularly, the prospect of a ‘hard Brexit’ as a weapon of wanton neighbourly destruction. It is very possible that Ireland will lose more from Brexit than the United Kingdom will: certainly amongst the EU27, Ireland is projected to lose more of its economic output than any other member state.
And while most of the focus of economic and political analysis to date has been on Northern Ireland and the implications for the Peace Process and Good Friday Agreement, it is equally clear that the Irish economy will face an existential crisis if the UK leaves not just the EU but the Single Market and the Customs Union.
There is an irony in this: when Ireland joined the then EEC (along with the UK) in 1973, it exported more than 50 per cent of its exports to Britain. By 2016 this figure had reduced to only 15 per cent. So one of the main features of the Republic’s common membership of the EU with the UK was a marked reduction in dependency on UK markets.
Source: – UK in a changing Europe