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50 years on: divergent paths of British and Irish membership of the EU

Fahey, E. ORCID: 0000-0003-2603-5300 (2023). 50 years on: divergent paths of British and Irish membership of the EU. London, UK: Verfassungsblog/ UK in a Changing EU.


2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Ireland and the UK’s accession to the now European Union, and three years since the UK withdrew from it. Following nearly fifty years of convergence and integration, it is time to interrogate the meaning and nature of EU membership in a current and former member state, reflecting on common questions including sovereignty, constitutional identity, and the protection of rights. This series of commentaries, first published on the Verfassungsblog in March-April 2023 in a symposium co-convened by UK in a Changing Europe and the Sutherland School of Law at University College Dublin, reflects on the constitutional evolution brought about by EU membership and Brexit. In this short piece, I will outline a few of the extremes of the Irish relationship with Europe that I have personally studied or encountered and its impact in my view. Many years ago, I wrote a dissertation on the relationship between EU law and the Irish legal order, on the unravelling dynamic since accession, focussing upon the preliminary reference data. I felt it was a deserving topic precisely because there was so little interest as to the relationship between EU law and Ireland. Ireland was uniformly always excluded from major US and EU political science studies that have been iconic in shaping views on EU integration.

Publication Type: Report
Subjects: J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
J Political Science > JX International law
J Political Science > JZ International relations
K Law
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
The City Law School > Institute for the Study of European Laws
The City Law School > International Law and Affairs Group
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