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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 19 March, 2019
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Bob Geldof says Brexit comes from 'a dangerous political ideology called nationalism'

The Irish rocker says he “can’t stand nationalism”.

Geldof received an honorary doctorate from UL today.
Geldof received an honorary doctorate from UL today.
Image: Oisin McHugh/True Media

ROCK STAR AND charity campaigner Bob Geldof today has described Brexit as a “misguided” and “dangerous” example of English nationalism.

Dublin-born Geldof has made London his home since the 1980s and frequently gives his opinion on political matters in the UK.

Speaking as he accepted an honorary doctorate in Limerick today, Geldof said he is “passionately against” Brexit.

He added that the current government in the UK is the “worst” he has seen, “bar none”.

“It throws everything up in the air between the two islands,” Geldof said.

“I don’t think the English recognise this in themselves – There is a big anarchic streak that runs down the spine of being English – whether it’s Francis Drake, Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher.”

Imagine if France decided to leave (the EU) – how (would) they resolve the border between Germany and France? – and when you say that to the English, they kind of say, ‘well it’s not the same’…It is precisely the same.

Geldof also told reporters he recently “had a row” with  “an extremely senior government politician” over Brexit.

“(The politician) said, ‘I thought you’d show more loyalty to your adopted country’, and I had to stand back from this (and think) – do I have to smack him or what, you know?”

“And I said, but you don’t understand – what I’m doing is fighting with everything I have for my adopted country, and he was trembling with rage and went off.”

Geldof said the current Brexit deal is “a properly serious mistake” and “an expression of English nationalism”.

“I can’t stand nationalism. In Ireland, we know where it leads to,” he added.

But the English have had to suborn their natural sense of being a people in a certain place, which is a patriotic notion which misguided men and women can curdle into a dangerous political ideology called nationalism.

Irish horse racing trainer Ted Walsh has also shared his views on Brexit this evening, saying that Irish people will end up paying for the UK’s decision.

“It’s the English again, and there’ll be fellas saying ‘those so-and-sos look where they have us again’, they have us on their bended knees once again, and that’s going to cause more aggravation,” Walsh said.

And there’s nothing, we didn’t make this scenario, but we’re going to pay for it, there’s no doubt about it. Because we rely on them, they’ve been good neighbours but we rely on them for most of our exports and a lot of our imports and a lot of jobs for people.

“They’ve been a good nation but they’ve invariably been able to kick us up the rear end whenever they’ve wanted to.”

- With reporting by David Raleigh

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Rónán Duffy

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