Ireland will follow Britain out of the European Union, a senior Brexiteer peer has claimed saying it was the "logical thing to happen".
Baroness Hoey – who as Kate Hoey was one of the few Eurosceptic Labour MPs before she quit the Commons at the 2019 general election – forecast that Ireland will leave the EU "in the relatively short term".
Speaking to today’s Chopper’s Politics podcast, Lady Hoey said: "While sort of 15 years ago everyone said we could never leave the EU, I believe that in the relatively short term, the Republic of Ireland will probably decide to leave.
"There’s a big debate starting there. And I think that is the logical thing to happen, that the Republic of Ireland leaves the European Union, now they’re a contributor."
Lady Hoey, who now sits as a non-affiliated peer in the Lords, added that she wanted the British ministers to feel they stand up to the EU and was uncomfortable when ministers described them as "our friends".
Speaking ahead of the fifth anniversary of the 2016 Brexit referendum vote next week, Lady Hoey said the decision to leave the EU had given the UK "a sense of freedom".
She said: "I do actually genuinely feel different about this. I feel that, you know, every day there’s something that you think, goodness, we can do that now and we need to be able to grab on to that.
"We just have to look, the one thing now I think has united the country is the way we handled our vaccinations. And that would not have happened if we’d been in the EU."
David Jones MP, deputy chairman of the European Research Group of Tory MPs, added that Britain’s decision to choose "the open sea" by leaving the EU had given it back its "self-respect".
He told the podcast: "What this country has achieved is the restoration of self-respect for the people of this country. We were always a semi-detached member of the European Union.
"We were always really the awkward squad in any of the councils of the EU. And what we’ve now done is to recognise that we have a different role in the world.
"And I remember that it was de Gaulle who said that if the UK is asked to choose between the European Union and the open sea, she will always choose the open sea and we’re now choosing the open sea again."
Listen to Christopher Hope’s full discussion with David Jones and Baroness Hoey on Chopper’s Politics, The Telegraph’s weekly political podcast, using the audio player above, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to podcasts.