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Smyth, Jamie

Europea correspondent for the Irish Times

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The Irish Times - Ireland | 18/06/2007

Will Ireland follow UK's 'opt out' policy ?

"Ireland may follow Britain and 'opt out' of a key part of the EU constitution that pools sovereignty in judicial and police matters", notes Jamie Smyth, European correspondent. "Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern said yesterday that ... he expected that any deal offered to Britain would also be available to Ireland due to our 'similar legal systems'. ... 'In our situation, defending our common law tradition without the support of the UK, ... could leave us isolated,' he said. Ireland and Britain are fiercely protective of their common law legal system and fear that moves to harmonise judicial systems across the EU could undermine it. Both states, along with Malta and Cyprus, argue that their legal systems have fundamental differences from continental European systems."

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