Northern Ireland and ‘Brexit’: The European Economic Area Option

11 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2017 Last revised: 5 Jul 2017

Brian Doherty

Independent

John Temple Lang

University of Dublin - Trinity College; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP

Christopher McCrudden

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law; University of Michigan Law School

Lee McGowan

Queen's University Belfast - Department of Politics and International Studies

David Phinnemore

Queen's University Belfast

Dagmar Schiek

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law, Centre of European and Transnational Legal Studies

Date Written: April 4, 2017

Abstract

UK withdrawal from the EU poses many challenges for Northern Ireland. The preferred option of Northern Ireland's First Minister and deputy First Minister is, in many respects, for the status quo to be maintained. An approach that could mitigate some of the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland and maintain much of the economic status quo is for Northern Ireland to become a member of the European Economic Area (EEA). This paper sets out what the EEA offers and highlights how EEA membership might be achieved as well as the issues it raises. In the EEA, Northern Ireland would retain full access to the Single Market. It would continue to be part of a European market with the free movement of goods, services, capital and people. EEA membership would also permit some citizenship rights to be maintained. It would not be a panacea, however. It would also bring with it political and legal challenges. But it is a known arrangement and would therefore ensure a significant degree of certainty.

Keywords: Brexit, Northern Ireland, European Economic Area, EEA

Suggested Citation

Doherty, Brian and Temple Lang, John and McCrudden, Christopher and McGowan, Lee and Phinnemore, David and Schiek, Dagmar, Northern Ireland and ‘Brexit’: The European Economic Area Option (April 4, 2017). U of Michigan Law & Econ Research Paper No. 16-038; U of Michigan Law & Econ Research Paper No. 16-038; U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 543. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2933715

Brian Doherty

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

John Temple Lang

University of Dublin - Trinity College ( email )

2-3 College Green
Dublin 2, Leinster 2
Ireland

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP ( email )

Rue de la Loi 57
Brussels, 1040
Belgium

Christopher McCrudden (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
United Kingdom

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

Lee McGowan

Queen's University Belfast - Department of Politics and International Studies ( email )

University Road
Belfast BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

David Phinnemore

Queen's University Belfast ( email )

David Leir Building
Belfast BT7 1NN, BT9 5AG
Ireland
(+44) 028 90335560 (Phone)
(+44) 028 90683543 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.qub.ac.uk/ies/staff/dphinnemore.html

Dagmar G. Schiek

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law, Centre of European and Transnational Legal Studies ( email )

School of Law
Queen's University Belfast
Belfast BT7 1NN, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland
+44(0)2890973400 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://go.qub.ac.uk/schieknew

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