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European Union Membership

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European Union Membership

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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore)

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Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Deputy Eamon Gilmore)

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Snippet Contents:

It is clear that the on-going debate in the UK about its membership of the European Union is a live one, and that it is set to continue for some time. It will have consequences for us all in the EU – most of all for the United Kingdom which must be allowed to reach the decision that it deems best for its own interests, but also for other Member States, especially Ireland, depending on how events unfold. I have made clear, many times, my strong preference for the United Kingdom continuing to play a full and active part in the Union into the future. Not only do I believe that this is the best outcome for Ireland; but I also believe that it is the best outcome for the UK and for the wider European Union. While many have commented in and on the debate underway, the question has not arisen in a formal way in the European Union. While many have commented in and on the debate underway, the question has not arisen in a formal way in the European Union.
The Treaty of Lisbon for the first time included a provision – Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union – which explicitly provides for circumstances in which a Member State might seek to withdraw from the Union, and which sets out the procedures that would be followed in such a case. While the provision is a new one, it was always considered implicit in the Treaties, the Union has never been one of duress. It is only when a Member State makes such an application that the issue would fall for formal consideration.
Article 50 has not been invoked to date, and I very much hope that this will remain the case. Both nationally, and as Presidency, the Government’s priority is ensuring that the Union is properly equipped to deal with the complex and exceptional economic challenges that confront the Union. We will continue to work with like-minded partners, including the UK, to achieve the Union our citizens want – a recovered Union back to the path of economic growth and job creation; and based on the values that have served it will, including solidarity, democracy and mutual respect.