Ireland should not just be part of the EU but should be at the heart of the EU.
That’s according to Fine Gael Senator and Government spokesman on EU Affairs, Neale Richmond, who stated that the notion of Ireland leaving the EU is idiotic.
Senator Richmond was speaking at a meeting of the Oireachtas EU Affairs Committee which was attended by the new Minister for European Affairs, Helen McEntee.
“In the wake of Brexit, the EU is understandably looking at its own future. The launch of the European Commission White Paper on the future of the EU is therefore welcome and allows all citizens and stakeholders to feed into what that that future should look like.
“It is my strongly held belief that Ireland’s future should not just be as part of the EU but at the heart of the EU.
“The notion peddled by some ill-informed sources that Ireland should follow the example of the UK and leave the EU is, to be blunt about it, simply idiotic. ”The decision of the people of the UK to leave the EU is a bad decision based on emotion, influenced by a decade’s old campaign of mistruth.”
Senator Richmond added that since joining the EEC in 1973, Ireland has flourished and active membership and commitment to the European project has allowed us to fully mature as an independent and sovereign state.
“We have grown socially, economically and culturally through our commitment to Europe. It has allowed us, a small peripheral nation, to take a seat at the top table of global affairs.
“Prior to our European accession, Ireland was a glorified province of the UK, our economy wholly relied on our larger neighbour, our society was immensely backward and we were seen by the world as an island behind an island; independent in name only.
“I am urging the Government and Minister McEntee to double down on Ireland’s commitment to Europe, to embrace the 88% of Irish people who are in favour of continued membership and rebut directly the small minority living in a fantasy land who think Ireland would be better off outside of the EU.”