Almost 80% say Ireland should stay in the EU, even if UK leaves

Even more people believe Ireland has benefited from membership

Almost 80% say Ireland should stay in the EU, even if UK leaves

Irish and European flags are seen in front of the EU commission headquarters in Brussels | Image: DOMINIQUE FAGET/AFP/Getty Images

As the British government promises to hold an 'in out' referendum on EU membership, a poll suggests a majority of Irish people believe we should remain part of the EU regardless of that outcome. 

More than three-quarters (77%) of those polled by European Movement Ireland and Red C say Ireland should remain in the EU even if the UK leaves.

According to the poll, 84% of adults here also believe that Ireland has, on balance, benefited from membership.

These figures are higher than those in a similar poll carried out in 2013.

Source: European Movement Ireland

And almost 7 in every 10 Irish adults support the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

But only 33% of Irish people agree that there should be an EU army.

European Movement Ireland executive director, Noelle O Connell, said: "The situation in the UK is of huge concern. It is very noteworthy that in the last two years, a growing number of Irish people believe that even if our nearest neighbours leave, that we should remain in the EU".

"The results also indicate that Irish people overwhelmingly believe that Ireland has benefited from EU membership, with 86% agreeing with this statement in the poll," she added.

Hollande: Plan for a referendum "very risky"

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron will meet  German Chancellor Angela Merkel for face-to-face talks in Berlin at the end of his two-day European diplomatic tour.

He iwill begin the day in Warsaw for talks with his Polish counterpart Ewa Kopacz, before heading to the German capital to see Mrs Merkel.

It comes after Mr Cameron called for "flexible and imaginative" reforms in the European Union after talks with French President Francois Hollande on Thursday.

Speaking after the talks in Paris, Mr Cameron said: "The status quo is not good enough and I think there are changes that can be made that can benefit not just Britain but the rest of Europe too".

He said solutions could be found to make Europe more competitive and "address the concerns of the British people" ahead of his in-out referendum on EU membership.

Mr Hollande called Mr Cameron's plan for a referendum by the end of 2017 "very risky" - but made clear that France wants Britain to remain in the bloc.

"We think it's in the interest of Europe and in the interest of the United Kingdom to be together but the people must always be respected," he said at a joint news conference.