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Minister Dara Murphy T.D. remarks on recent commentary about Brexit and Ireland’s EU membership

Speaking at the European Movement Ireland event today to launch the Maltese Presidency Minister of State for European Affairs Dara Murphy said:
“I am concerned about recent arguments that because the Brexit negotiations are likely to be difficult, and because there is so much at stake for Ireland, that we should threaten to leave the EU if we don’t get what we want. Taking yourself hostage is a really strange way to guarantee your future wellbeing.
“Let me be crystal clear. Ireland is a committed member of the European Union.  Ireland’s interests, economic, social and political are best served by our continued membership of the European Union.  Our economic future prosperity depends on our membership of the single market.” 
Acknowledging the very significant potential negative impact of a hard Brexit, the Minister said: 
“We are all aware of the very significant potential negative impact of a hard Brexit on our economy, but that would be in the half-penny place compared to the economic devastation that a withdrawal from the EU would cause.  Of course we need open discussion and debate of our policy options, but such debate should be serious and informed. 
"The consequence of leaving the European Union would inevitably be a return to a greater dependence on the UK and without any of the input we have around the European table.  This would reverse the trend of the past forty years and the great strides we have made in diversifying our economic and political relationships."