Brexit and the Election: The Issue That Wasn’t
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From the moment the result of the UK’s Brexit referendum of 23 June 2016 was announced, Brexit became the top item on the Irish government’s agenda as there were widespread concerns that a hard Brexit would seriously damage the Irish economy. Ensuring that the terms of Brexit did not threaten the open border with Northern Ireland was also a priority. The chapter explains why Brexit was not a divisive issue within the country, a consequence of Ireland’s strongly Euro-positive attitudes. The necessity of ensuring that the country had a stable government to deal with the issue of Brexit was an important factor in determining the timing of the election. The chapter explains how the absence of division on Brexit meant that it did not become a significant election issue.