The Republic of Ireland could be the next country to call for an in-out European Union referendum after an ‘Irexit’ campaign group was launched this week.
In a statement on its recently-launched website, a spokesman for the group said: “We are a centre leaning political group who believe the time is right for Ireland to hold a referendum on our continued membership of the European Union.
“This debate must take place in a respectful and mature way by all sides and have the long term best interests of Ireland and our future generations at its core.”
Campaigners point to the fact the Republic of Ireland, a net contributor to the EU, lost €136million in 2014 as a major reason to leave.
A briefing by the country’s finance minister department revealed last month: “Ireland has been a significant net beneficiary from the EU Budget since accession in 1973. However, 2014 represented the first time that Ireland was a small net contributor.”
Irish MEP Brian Hayes said this week any attempt to rid the country of its low corporate tax would result in it leaving the union.
He said: “That is the absolute red line issue. Any attempt made to cajole us, as far as I’m concerned, we’re out the door.
“We cannot be tied into an anti-business, anti-growth pact while the Brits are allowed to move on. We have a lot more to lose than anybody else.”