Tuesday, June 27, 2017

West Brexiters in Westminster

House of Commons debate on the Brexit portions of the Queen's Speech --

Ian Paisley (North Antrim) (DUP) ... The director of social policy at Trinity College Dublin said in a letter to the leader of the Democratic Unionist party: “If the Government of the Republic of Ireland is so foolish as to seek to stay in the EU when Northern Ireland and Britain leave, it is the Republic, not the UK, that will be putting the Common Anglo-Irish Travel and Trade Area at risk.” Those are very important comments because the onus is actually on the Republic of Ireland to address its problems with Europe. It is not for Northern Ireland to address those issues. Since 2014, the Republic of Ireland has been paying €1.7 billion to be a member of the EU. ... Post-Brexit, the Republic of Ireland will be required to pay even more to make up for the UK leaving the EU. All the trading issues between the Republic of Ireland and the UK show very clearly that the Republic of Ireland can do far better by leaving the EU along with the UK. I hope that the Republic of Ireland gets that message loud and clear, and recognises that it can do more for our common citizenship by leaving the EU along with us. 

First, Ian Beag is misquoting the title of Anthony Coughlan, who is not director of anything at Trinity College Dublin, although merely by virtue of having retired from there, it gets used a credential for media references (much the same way that public sector pensioner Ray Bassett catapults onto the op-ed pages by virtue of having retired from the Department of Foreign Affairs).

But anyway, Ian's contribution is helpful: it lays out clearly the argument that it's up to the Republic of Ireland to adapt to Brexit by leaving the EU -- an argument implicit in all the claims (such as from Ray Bassett) that the Republic is not "doing enough" about Brexit. 

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