On Monday, November 13, the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings hosted Ireland’s finance minister, Paschal Donohoe, for a keynote address. Ireland may be the EU member state most seriously affected by the United Kingdom’s pending exit from the European Union. The U.K. is Ireland’s second-largest trading partner after the United States, and Ireland now faces the risk of tariff and non-tariff barriers applying across the only EU-U.K. land border, between Ireland and Northern Ireland. How is Ireland, which emerged from a serious economic crisis earlier this decade, confronting this new challenge? And what impact might Brexit have on the political and economic partnership between Ireland and the United States?
Amanda Sloat, Robert Bosch Senior Fellow at the Center on the United States and Europe at Brookings, introduced the minister. Sloat and Douglas A. Rediker, Brookings nonresident senior fellow in the Global Economy and Development program, joined the minister after his speech for a conversation on these themes.
This event was part of the Brookings – Robert Bosch Foundation Transatlantic Initiative, which aims to build up and expand resilient networks and trans-Atlantic activities to analyze and work on issues concerning trans-Atlantic relations and social cohesion in Europe and the United States.
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I think what we've seen with the British reaction to this deal is that there's no parliamentary majority for any sort of agreement. There's not a majority for no deal. There's not a majority for this deal. But it's also not clear that there's a majority for any other sort of deal... I think a lot of people are playing a lot of games of chicken, which is a very high stakes strategy given that we are only three months away from the point where Brexit is supposed to take effect. It's worth remembering that the European Parliament still needs to vote on the deal, which could take them about six to eight weeks to do.