Irexit – it sounds awful
Recently, the economist Ray Kinsella wrote an article in the Irish Times about why Ireland should seriously consider leaving the European Union. Was he serious??
The sound of the word Irexit sounds awful and the idea is awful. Hopefully it will never happen.
He made some cogent points but did not explain how international companies that want to be in the EU would remain in Ireland.
I took to my keyboard and replied by letter to the Irish Times.
Ray Kinsella may try to propose reasons for Ireland to leave the European Union but he failed to explain how Ireland would be better off outside of the EU.
The reason why Ireland had to join the EEC in the first place was because Ireland’s main market, the UK, was also joining and therefore it was essential for Ireland to follow the UK. The UK joined the EEC because it had lost its empire after the second World War and its economy was underperforming. The British were not interested in the EEC for the political reasons that France, Germany and the Benelux countries were, and the UK only wanted to improve its own economy.
The advantage for Ireland was that Ireland joined a large common market and was no longer restricted to the underperforming UK market. This advantage still holds true today. It would be economic suicide for Ireland to leave the world’s largest market to be dependent on the underperforming UK market. Most of the international companies based in Ireland would leave. How does Mr Kinsella propose to replace them?
Mr Kinsella also failed to mention the good that the EU did for Ireland. The EU mandated the Irish government to pay women equally to men; it forces Ireland to improve its environmental behaviour; and it has made Irish one of 24 official languages of the EU.
There are many other positive results of EU membership that could be listed.
What Ireland should be planning with excitement and imagination, rather than dread, is for a new departure in its international relations. Ireland should aim to join the Schengen zone, improve the education curriculum so that Irish students learn at least four languages, and assist Irish companies to export to new markets in the EU and elsewhere.
Mr Kinsella portrays a bleak future for Ireland unless we are aligned with the UK. I think that it will be a much better future aligned with the EU.
SEANÁN Ó COISTÍN
Speaking to my father a few days later, he said that he read the letter and thought it was very good. He also said that a friend of his read the letter as well and telephone called my father to say he thought the letter was very good and that he agreed with me.