Stay in EU because it’s best for Britain, says Kenny
Irish people in this country should vote to stay in the EU because it really is the best thing for Britain – and therefore good for Ireland, according to Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
Mr. Kenny was at the Irish TV Ground in Ruislip on Sunday to see his native Mayo comfortably defeat London in the Connacht Senior Football Championship quarter finals.
Several thousand people from Mayo travelled from across the UK and from Ireland for the game and
to make the best of the Bank Holiday weekend with their friends and relatives in London.
But the Taoiseach was able to mix business with pleasure by staging a media opportunity with Irish4Europe campaigners at the game and for UK news outlets.
Mr. Kenny stressed that while Ireland really wants to see the UK stay in the EU – and is unapologetic about urging Irish people in this country to vote to remain – it is a sovereign matter for voters in the UK.
But there would be significant consequences for Ireland and the everyday relations between the two
countries in the UK left – including the return of Border checkpoints and custom controls because Ireland is not leaving the EU, he said.
He told the Irish World:
“A prosperous Britain is good for Ireland and a prosperous Britain is good for Europe and Europe itself will be reformed if the British electorate decide on the 23rd of June to vote to stay.
“The changes (sought by Prime Minister David Cameron) have been made…and have been outlined and agreed with the European Council, every one of the other 27 members.”
Good for the UK and Ireland
There may well be a case for Britain to prosper by leaving the EU but if there is, we have yet to hear it and probably won’t between now and 23 June.
Equally, the people responsible for bringing us this divisive, ill-tempered, disingenuous referendum are, from David Cameron downwards, vulnerable to charges of exaggeration, fear mongering and dodgy economic forecasts.
There are genuine economic arguments to be made about reforming the Eurozone, and the currency itself, and how to improve upon Brussels’ shortcomings. Again, between those who hark back to a kind of 1950s England on one side and the architects of Project Fear, on the other, we haven’t heard them.
Add to that the clamour of Irish politicians and ministers how the whole Brexit debate should really be about Ireland and the only thing that is clear is how the debate isn’t, that it has been allowed to become all about intangibles, unknowns and emotional responses and prejudices.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s remarks in Ruislip this week, and the op-ed articles printed on the pages beside this comment, attempt to shed some light on the debate, from an Irish in Britain perspective.
EU membership is good for Britain and has helped it prosper while Britain is unquestionably good for the EU itself and not just as a counterbalance between France and Germany.
The Tory-UKIP Brexit dynamic has everything to do with forcing a leadership contest within the Conservative Party. It’s chief mascot Boris Johnson has made a very lucrative career out of peddling exaggerations bordering on falsehoods about the EU – not least when he was a Brussels-based correspondent.
Anything which causes Britain to prosper – and all objective economic data shows it has done nothing but prosper as a consequence of its membership of the EU and its open market – can only be good news too for its nearest neighbour, with whom it shares a land border, Ireland.
Ergo, the most compelling case is that Irish people who have made their careers, families and homes in this country and want this country to prosper in today’s huge interconnected international economy should vote later this month for the UK to stay within the EU and attempt to persuade their friends, neighbours and colleagues of this.