Opinion & Analysis

Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador: Why I hope the UK will remain in the European Union

If Britain chose to leave the European Union, it would not only have an effect inside the UK, but also on the rest of Europe. In the final month of the referendum campaign, we will be featuring comments from some of Europe’s Ambassadors to the UK on how they view a potential Brexit. Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador, writes on why he hopes Britain will remain in the European Union. Why is it that Ireland has a firm view about the upcoming UK referendum on EU membership? It is because this is a major watershed moment for the UK and for the European Union of which Ireland is, and will continue to be, a committed member. In Ireland, we do not have a say in the coming referendum (except that British people in Ireland and Irish people in Britain do have a vote on 23 June), but we do have a view and, as friendly neighbours, it is incumbent on us to let our position be known. We would not be good neighbours if we failed to express the very real concerns we have about the risks and potential consequences for Ireland and Europe of a British exit from the EU. As someone with a deep interest in European history, I can see that the past 70 years have been one of the most peaceful periods Europeans have ever experienced. Today’s Europe is also a notably prosperous part of the world and the EU can, I believe, claim at least some of the credit for this. Furthermore, there are no guarantees about our future and, in my view, it makes far more sense for Europeans to band together in pursuit of shared interests instead of going their separate ways with all of the risks a British exit will entail.