Why Ireland should now leave the European Union – Bill Carmichael

A WEEK ago today the EU suffered an astonishing meltdown over its dismal failure to protect its citizens with an effective roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine, and you might think as a result of this disaster the unelected and unaccountable Commission may have the humility to learn a lesson or two.

Should Ireland be leaving the European Union in wake of the vaccines row?

Not a bit of it. Sure the Commission’s crazy plan to impose a border between the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland – something the EU has insisted was completely unthinkable for the last 
five years – was humiliatingly 
withdrawn after it managed to unite 
in opposition Conservative and Labour, the British and Irish governments, Sinn Fein and the DUP, and even some of the more sensible members of the Remain lobby.

But the ugly, petty nationalism that has characterised the EU’s response to the pandemic has not gone away. Indeed the Commission is still threatening to block exports of the vaccine to our friends around the world in Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Canada to name a few.

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This is utterly stupid. What these fools fail to realise is that this is a global pandemic and none of us is safe until all of us are safe. The virus does not recognise national borders and the best way to defeat it is to immunise as many people as possible as quickly as possible right across the world – not to indulge in childish, narrow minded, empire building, as the Commission is doing.

This was the Prime Minister during a visit to Batley this week to discuss the vaccine programme.

Sure, we can take some satisfaction in the UK’s incredible achievement – with the amazing milestone of 10 million vaccinations reached this week, streets ahead of Germany, the Netherlands, France, Spain and Italy. But until the EU, just a few miles across the Channel don’t forget, gets its sluggish, enervated response into gear, we are all still at serious risk.

The situation in the EU is so serious that, once the British population has been immunised, I would be more than happy for the UK to give the EU many thousands of vaccine doses, and the NHS staff and the British armed forces to deliver them, because quite frankly the Commission seems entirely incapable protecting its own citizens.

Meanwhile citizens of the Irish Republic must be wondering what the hell they have let themselves in for, because the EU’s treatment of the Irish government was nothing short of a disgrace. A week ago the Commission announced the imposition of a hard border on the island of Ireland – without even appearing to consult the Irish Prime Minister!

I guess that’s what happens when you give up your sovereignty and hand it over to unelected bureaucrats. Some of us always suspected that the Irish were simply being used as pawns in the Commission’s anti-Brexit manoeuvrings – now we know we were 100 per cent right.

Boris Johnson has stood up to the European Union over vaccine supplies.

Yet still the EU is trying to make difficulties on the exports of goods from Great Britain to Northern Ireland. How long are we going to put up with this nonsense?

The sensible solution is absolutely clear. The Irish Republic should quit the moribund EU and apply to join in a customs union and single market with the UK.

Then the Republic of Ireland would be a properly sovereign and independent nation once again, with full powers invested in its democratically elected parliament, the Dail Eireann, rather than handing over control of their country to a bunch of clowns in Brussels.

In terms of language, culture, history and above all economics, it makes total sense. The UK is the number one importer of goods and services to Ireland and we are their third largest export market.

TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh was among those to receive their Covid vaccine this week.

And don’t forget when they were given a chance the Irish people voted against the EU in referendums on the Nice and Lisbon treaties. Their views were ignored and they were forced to keep on voting until they came up with a result deemed acceptable by their political masters in Brussels.

The simple fact is that the Irish 
would be far better off in an alliance 
with their friends and neighbours in the UK, than as a client colony of the EU empire.

Of course I understand this is unlikely to happen, largely for emotional and irrational reasons.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t exactly the right thing to do. “Irexit” and a close partnership with the UK is the best way to go.

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