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Breaking The Sterling Link: Ireland’S Decision To Enter The Ems

Author

Listed:
  • Patrick Honohan
  • Gavin Murphy

    () (Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin)

Abstract

Ireland had been considering a break in the long-standing currency link with sterling for some time when the ideal opportunity of a new exchange rate regime – potentially retaining the sterling link while stabilizing other exchange rates – seemed to offer itself in the form of the “zone of monetary stability in Europe” proposed by France and Germany in April 1978. Based on newly released archives, this paper reviews the evolving attitude of Irish officials and the Irish Government over the following months as the decision gradually shifted to one of breaking the sterling link and rejoining what was little more than an expanded “Snake” arrangement; the UK having decided to stay out. While financial issues were to the fore in the discussions, the final decision to join was based on a strategic vision that Ireland’s economic and political future lay with Europe rather than with the former colonial power.

Suggested Citation

  • Patrick Honohan & Gavin Murphy, 2010. "Breaking The Sterling Link: Ireland’S Decision To Enter The Ems," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp317, IIIS.
  • Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp317
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    File URL: https://www.tcd.ie/iiis/documents/discussion/pdfs/iiisdp317.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Honohan, Patrick & Conroy, Charles, 1994. "Irish Interest Rate Fluctuations in The European Monetary System," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number GRS165.
    2. Stanley Fischer, 2001. "Exchange Rate Regimes: Is the Bipolar View Correct?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 3-24, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2015. "Does Corporate Taxation Deter Multinationals? Evidence from a Historic Event in Ireland," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(5), pages 788-804, May.
    2. Stefan Gerlach & Reamonn Lydon & Rebecca Stuart, 2016. "Unemployment and inflation in Ireland: 1926–2012," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 10(3), pages 345-364, September.
    3. Frank Barry, 2014. "Diversifying External Linkages: The Exercise of Irish Economic Sovereignty in Long-Term Perspective," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp448, IIIS.

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