Irexit SHOCK: How Ireland could follow Britain and be NEXT to quit the EU after Brexit

Posted on May 6 2019 - 10:24am by admin

Dr Ray Bassett, the former Irish ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, was talking to Express.co.uk as campaigning for the forthcoming European Parliamentary elections picked up pace, and said the Eurosceptic Irish Freedom Party’s decision to “dip its toe in the water” was a sign of things to come. He said: “I wouldn’t see Ireland leaving the bloc in the short term, but I could see Eurosceptics succeeding in a few years’ time as the arguments pile up. “When you ask people whether they want to be in the EU they generally say yes.

“But when you ask them if they are in favour of a common taxation policy, or a European army, most people I know say absolutely not.

“The knowledge of the EU, and what membership actually means, is abysmal in Ireland.

“People have no idea what the EU is actually about, they are completely unaware.”

Dr Bassett said there was actually very little about the Irish “identity” which was wrapped up with Europe, pointing out vastly more people from Ireland opted to live in English-speaking countries such as Australia, Canada or the UK.

He added: “There are more Irish in Sydney than in Germany and France put together.”

Dr Bassett also suggested the EU was using Ireland for its own purposes.

He said: “Ireland has got to be very careful because there is very little substance to the arguments for staying in the EU.

“The EU is using Ireland as a convenient ally against Britain when it comes to Brexit.

“There’s no doubt the EU has have weaponised the border issue.

“The backstop is definitely solvable without the need for a hard border.

“I agree with Bertie Ahern when he said when he said the Government should have got together with Westminster to work something rather than running off to Brussels.”

Dr Bassett said even though the “Irish political establishment” was very pro-EU, support was less solid in working class Irish communities – a similar situation to the UK.

He said: “I know Jacob Rees-Mogg is a very prominent voice for Brexit, but who voted for it? Working class people.”

In such a context, he was not surprised by the launched of the Irish Freedom Party, fronted by Hermann Kelly, who is running for the European Parliament as an independent in the Dublin region.

The party, which launched a billboard campaign last month to spread its message of taking Ireland out of the bloc, is also backing Dolores Cahill in Ireland South, although neither is an official IFP candidates.

Dr Bassett said: “I’ve spoken to Hermann and there’s something about the IFP I like.

“I think it’s a bit early for them and they are just dipping their toes in the water at the moment.”

However, he emphasised as a nationalist organisation which backs the idea of a United Ireland, the IFP’s aims were unlikely to align with those of Brexiteers in Westminster, especially those in the European Research Group, who have so far refused to back Mrs May’s withdrawal agreement because it does not have the backing of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in Northern Ireland.

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