Anthony Coughlan, the director of the National Platform EU Research and Information Centre, said euroscepticism may grow on the island during the UK’s exit talks from Brussels.
The economist added all the reasons why Ireland applied to join the then EEC in 1961 were the same reasons why it now should follow its closest neighbour out of the European Union.
In a comment piece for BrexitCentral, Prof Coughlan said: “The Republic of Ireland applied to join the then EEC in 1961 because the UK did so.
“It joined along with Britain in 1973 for the same reasons: the UK was its most important single trading partner, and Dublin did not want the North-South border within Ireland to become the land frontier of an aspiring continental supranational federation.
Anthony Coughlan said Ireland should follow the UK out of the European Union
“Now that the UK is leaving the EU, these remain the key reasons why the Republic should leave the EU along with (the UK).
“Irish public support for leaving the EU is likely to grow in the course of the UK/EU negotiations, even if the Republic’s political establishment and media – probably Europe’s most europhile apart from Germany’s and France’s – are still in shock at the whole idea of Britain leaving.”
Prof Coughlan argued leaving the bloc was the only way to ensure a hard border did not emerge between the Republic of Ireland and the UK once exit talks between Theresa May and Brussels conclude.
He wrote: “The only guaranteed way of avoiding customs posts and passport checks on the North-South Irish border when the UK leaves the EU single market and customs union is for the Republic to leave the EU too.
The Republic should leave the EU along with [the UK]
“For the Republic to attempt to stay when the UK leaves would add further new dimensions to that border – ever more harmonised EU laws and rules on one side, for example in crime and justice, and British-based ones on the other.”
The economist said there were other key reasons why it would make sense for Ireland to join the Brexit-bandwaggon.
Prof Coughlan wrote: “A key one is that since 2014 the Republic has become a net contributor to the EU Budget, having been a net recipient for the previous 40 years.
“Easy money from Brussels, mainly under the Common Agricultural Policy, has always been the basis of Irish europhilia. If Dublin stays in the EU, it must in future pay more in than it gets back. It would have to pay more too to help make up for the loss of Britain’s payments.