Ireland ‘waking up’ to joys of LEAVING EU, former diplomat says as Ireland is closer to UK

Saturday, August 12, 2017
By Paul Martin

AN IRISH EU exit is becoming more and more likely as the country “wakes up” to the benefits of life outside the union, a former diplomat declared.

Sat, Aug 12, 2017

Ray Bassett said people were coming round to the idea of an ‘Irexit’ – or ‘Eireamach’, which roughly translates as ‘Ireland out’ in Gaelic.

The former Irish ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas told “public opinion is changing” on the island.

He said while still an unlikely prospect, especially as Ireland regularly boasts the highest levels of support for the European Union in the bloc, it was no longer an impossibility.

Mr Bassett, who also worked with the Irish government during Good Friday Agreement negotiations, said: “Public opinion is changing. I don’t know how radically, but it’s changing.

“People are only beginning to wake up an get interested.”

He dismissed the high levels of support for the bloc in Ireland as a result of slanted approval polls and a lack of understanding of how the EU works.

Mr Bassett said: “A lot of the polls are, you know, they know how to set the next answer with the question.

“If you say to somebody if they’re pro-Europe they say ‘absolutely’, but if you ask about policies they are against them.”

He said Ireland is closer, culturally and politically, to the UK than to mainland Europe.

Mr Bassett explained: “People are not as culturally tuned into the EU as our politicians would love it to be. There’s more Irish in Toronto than in Germany and France put together!

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