Essential that impact on citizens is main focus of EU leaders
Dublin, Wednesday, June 29 2016: As leaders of EU Member States continue to meet in Brussels, European Movement (EM) Ireland is urging them to prioritise the historical and on-going relationship and ties between the Ireland and the UK in whatever Brexit deal is agreed.
“The close and multi-faceted relationship between the two islands pre-dates our membership of the European Union”, said EM Ireland’s Executive Director Noelle O Connell, “Nevertheless, since the day in 1973 when both countries joined the EU, our relationship has been enhanced and strengthened, underpinned by our common membership of the European Union.”
“The lives of people on both islands should be the chief focus of all of those involved in negotiating the UK’s exit strategy from the EU,” continued Ms O Connell, citing the following examples of the interactions between Ireland North and South, as well as between the two islands:
- In 2014/15 there were 10,905 student enrolments from the Republic of Ireland in Higher Education institutions throughout the UK
- Dublin-London is the busiest route in Europe and the second biggest in the world, with almost 4.5 million people flying between the cities in 2015 alone
- More than 400,000 jobs rely on exports between the two islands
- 30,000 approx. people cross the Irish/NI border every day
- €1.2 billion of trade in goods and services flows across the Irish Sea every week between the UK and Ireland
- The EU has provided over €1.5 billion since 1995 to support peace in Northern Ireland.”
“According to a RED C opinion poll commissioned by EM Ireland last month, 86% of Irish people wanted the UK to remain in the EU. So after last week’s referendum results, we find ourselves where the vast majority of us did not want to be,” added Ms O Connell, “While nothing will change immediately, there is no doubt that the impact on the lives of Irish and UK citizens should be the chief concern and priority in whatever Brexit deal is negotiated in the next while.”
“The EU is facing one of the biggest shocks in its history. It is essential that in trying to find the best way to deal with the unique situation we find ourselves in, that the needs of citizens are its foremost focus. This matters not just for those in the UK and Ireland, but for all EU citizens,” concluded Ms O Connell.
Key Facts about the Irish-UK relationship
The UK was the main destination for Irish agri-food and drink exports in 2015 accounting for 41% of all agri-exports.
The UK is a significant market for Irish beef, as it accounted for 52% of all Irish beef exports in 2015.
Dublin-London is the busiest route in Europe and the second biggest in the world, with almost 4.5 million people flying between the cities in 2015
The EU has provided over €1.5 billion since 1995 to support peace in Northern Ireland.
In 2014/15 there were 10,905 student enrolments from the Republic of Ireland in Higher Education in the UK.
One in four people in the UK can claim Irish Heritage and there are 50,000 Irish born directors of UK companies
€1.2 billion of trade in goods and services flows across the Irish Sea every week between the UK and Ireland. Ireland is the UK’s fifth largest trading partner.
UK jobs resulting from exports to Ireland are estimated at 208,000.
Almost 200,000 people in Ireland are employed as a result of our exports to the UK.
Great Britain delivers almost 50% of all overseas visitors to the Irish tourism market.