Ireland

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Joined: EU 1973 Eurozone 1999 Schengen Opted Out Ireland won its independence from the United Kingdom in the 1921 Treaty that also saw the creation of Northern Ireland, over which Ireland maintained a constitutional claim until the 1998 peace agreement. Ireland has always had the same European Union status as the United Kingdom, although this was not intentional, despite the efforts to make a lot of this over concerns about the border with Northern Ireland. Ireland applied to join in 1961 as an unconnected application after Denmark had applied the day after the United Kingdom. When France vetoed the United Kingdom application Denmark withdrew, but Ireland persisted in its ultimately unsuccessful application. When the United Kingdom reapplied in 1967 Ireland did not apply, but it did so in 1973 when the United Kingdom and Denmark again applied. This time all three became the first countries to join the original six members in the European Economic Community. A possible Brexit was viewed with such alarm by the Irish government that the taoiseach (prime minister) Enda Kenny went on the campaign stump in England, appealing to Irish communities to vote remain for the sake of Northern Ireland.

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