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Author says 'Ireland owes the UK nothing' in heated Brexit debate

“Ireland owes this country nothing. Ireland owes this country no concessions, it owes it no quarter, it owes it nothing.”

AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST Bonnie Greer has said Ireland owes nothing to the UK, during a TV debate about Brexit.

Speaking on BBC Question Time last night, Greer also said that the United States would not do any type of trade deal with the UK that would damage its long-standing relationship with Ireland.

“Oftentimes, I hear people talking about Ireland as if this country owns Ireland.

“Ireland owes this country nothing. Ireland owes this country no concessions, it owes it no quarter, it owes it nothing,” Greer said. 

She added: “The United States is Irish. If anybody thinks that they’re going to get a deal through and have a trade relationship with the United States that shafts Ireland, you’ve got another thing coming. It’s not going to happen, it’s not going to happen.

I’m from Chicago, that’s where I was born, and you know what we do on St Patrick’s Day? We dye the river green. People are very serious about Ireland in the United States – don’t mess with it, don’t make it look bad.

Greer, who writes for the New European newspaper, said the British government needs to take the peace process in Northern Ireland more seriously during Brexit negotiations. 

“The Good Friday Agreement, in spite of its rather benign name, the Good Friday Agreement is a truce.

“And it’s a truce because the United States of America and the EU sat down with this country to make it happen. We have to be much more serious about this,” Greer said, to applause from the audience.

Racism 

During the programme, Greer also discussed what she viewed as “racially motivated” attacks on the Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle, saying: “It is bad being a foreigner in this country right now.”

An audience member asked her: “Why is it bad to be a foreigner in this country at the moment?”

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To which she replied: “I have a friend who is Polish, she has lived here since about 2000. Her little girl was born here, she doesn’t speak Polish to her anymore on the bus or the Tube because people abuse her.”

The audience member then said: “I still disagree with the comment. Whether she speaks Polish to her daughter or not, that’s her choice.”

“She can’t speak Polish to her daughter in public because she is maligned and hassled. That’s why she doesn’t do it, and her daughter’s losing her maternal language because her mother isn’t speaking to her anymore in public,” Greer replied.

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Órla Ryan

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