EU 'prepared to grant membership' to a ‘united Ireland’ after Brexit
A proposal that would see Northern Ireland automatically re-join the European Union if it became part of a united Ireland post-Brexit is to be put forward at a European Council meeting this weekend.
According to RTÉ, the Irish government has sought to have a special text agreed at a European Council meeting in Brussels on Saturday concerning Britain’s impending exit from the EU, a meeting at which the United Kingdom will not be represented.
The text, RTÉ reports, would call for Northern Ireland to automatically re-join the European Union after Brexit takes effect in the event that it was consented to by a majority in Northern Ireland.
The text would reference the mechanism in the Good Friday agreement that allows for a united Ireland if it was the preference of a majority in the six counties and call for an immediate re-entry to the European Union for Northern Ireland if it came about.
In that regard, it would be similar to the German reunification in 1990, when East Germany became a member of the EU following the fall of the Berlin wall.
Ireland's Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny has spoken on a number of occasions in the recent past about how Brexit could lead to a united Ireland.
It is believed that leaders of the other 26 European Union countries will be asked to endorse the idea at the summit called for by European Council president Donald Tusk this weekend.
If agreed to by leaders of other EU states, it is thought that the declaration sought by the government would be included in the minutes of the European Council meeting and not as part of the negotiating guidelines.