Brexit has changed things there’s no doubt about it Nigel and his cohort have changed the face of Europe, whether that is for the better remains to be seen. IT has however raised a prickly question in Ireland. What are we doing on this Euro journey?
Last week I met with Ristread O Domhnaill director of the Atlantic, a powerful documentary about Irelands sea rights and how Europe have screwed us over royally. In exchange for farming grants we effectively gave up our fishing rights to 90% of our total territory. Europe calls the shots on our fishing and vast Dutch super trawlers fish out our supplies killing our local fisherman’s livelihood in the process. You might call it giving it if your not a sea food lover but it raised an issue that some people have been talking about for a while; Ireland’s role in the EU.
Lets face it we are small banana’s when it comes to Europe we are told what to do and we do it. We’re good Europeans and we did benefit with our new roads but what did we give up in return? Our pound, our economic sovereignty and dare I say some of our values.
Brexit has opened a can of worms. Just what is Europe? Charles De Gaulle said that Europe was just France and Germany and the rest was just trimmings. The English have never been great Europeans thinking themselves standing alone in their Empire and we well we until very recently did what The Saxon did, they jumped and we followed and despite our fractured past we are more alike than we know.
So what if we did actually leave? Our farm payments would eventually end and it would make for a harder farming life for our community. Could the family farm survive without the grants? It’s a good question and something we would need to consider deeply as our brothers in the North are facing an uncertain future with some industry experts saying that farmers in the north must be consolidated into bigger farms operated by fewer farmers.
Putting that to one side if we did leave the EU we would need a new currency. Would it be Punt 2 or would we operate on some other currency model? Perhaps sterling? I don’t know the answer to that one.
We are an open country and the best small country to do business in internationally or so we always say. Our corporate tax rate is why we attract foreign direct investment. The EU has always wanted to put an end to this. The UK have not wanted to do that. The UK are still a major trading partner for us. Could we possibly team up with them in this post EU zone? Norway aren’t part of the EU and they seem to be doing just fine. They have trade agreements with the EU and what’s more they’ve protected their mineral and fishing rights an industry worth billions.
If the UK leaving the EU was about foreigners coming in then Ireland leaving the EU is about us loosing our political will and rights.
I read one our site this week a call for our local MEP Luke Ming Flanagan to return back to Ireland that we needed him here more than we do there. Perhaps those comments were right. A few more Ming’s and a little less Hogan’s might just be in order.
In a world where Donald Trump is the President of America and Nigel and Boris won the Brexit vote it’s not such a pipedream.
Our stocks would take a tumble there’s no doubt but maybe we are better standing on our own two feet again instead of being Europe’s whipping boy.