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Author 'amazed' at reaction in Ireland to Brexit comments

Greer told BBC Question Time last night that ‘Ireland owes the UK nothing’.

women-in-the-world-conference Greer was critical of the UK's approach to Brexit. Source: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images

AUTHOR AND JOURNALIST Bonnie Greer, whose defence of Ireland on a TV debate last night drew attention and praise, has said she was “surprised” by the reaction. 

Speaking on BBC Question Time last night, Greer – who is from the US but has lived in the UK for 30 years – told the audience that “Ireland owes the UK nothing” over Brexit. 

“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. 

Today, she told RTÉ Radio One’s Drivetime programme that she was “surprised” at the support she’d received following her appearance.

“I think I’ve been invited to every town and city in Ireland and I’m very grateful, it’s amazing. I don’t know what to say. I thought I said something that everybody knew,” she said. 

Greer said she was stunned that British people were shocked by what she had to say. 

“I think a lot of British people, the people who responded to me, were fairly astonished. They didn’t understand that the Good Friday Agreement is a truce, a ceasefire. They just didn’t understand that. They don’t seem to understand that Ireland is a sovereign country and that it is Europe,” she said. 

Echoing her comments last night that the UK cannot “shaft” Ireland if it wants a US trade deal after Brexit, Greer said: ”The truth of America is that it’s an Irish country. Many Americans can trace Irish ancestry and not just white Americans.”

Greer, who writes for the New European newspaper, said that she’d received thanks from all over the world after the show. 

Last night, she was critical of the UK government’s approach to Brexit and said that it needed to take peace in the North more seriously. 

“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. 

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