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'Britain twice saved the world from tyranny, we'll do what we want' - Tory MP

Gordon Brown reckons a Brexit would make the UK akin to the ‘North Korea of Europe’. So… would it?

EU Affairs Committee talks Brexit Conservative MP Sir Bill Cash PA / Brian Lawless PA / Brian Lawless / Brian Lawless

WITH ALL EYES on Greece in recent times, the growing anti-European sentiment of our nearest neighbours has struggled to gain quite the same media traction.

Until now anyway.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown has made quite a forceful case for what a British exit (or ‘Brexit’) from the EU would mean for the UK, specifically all the bad things it would mean.

In an opinion piece for The Guardian Brown argues that leaving the EU, as the current Conservative government has been making strong noises about doing under pressure from UKIP, would be ‘sheer defeatism’, and leave the UK isolated as the ‘North Korea of Europe’.

Gordon Brown retirement Gordon Brown PA Wire / Press Association Images PA Wire / Press Association Images / Press Association Images

“(Leaving the union, aka the ‘Hong Kong option’) is really the North Korea option,” says Brown.

If we do, we’ll be out in the cold with few friends, no influence, little new trade and even less new investment.

Saved the world

Earlier today, prominent euro-sceptic Conservative MP Sir Bill Cash spoke in front of our own Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs regarding the effects of a UK exit. His conclusion? Britain needs to leave the EU and the sooner the better.

Should the Conservatives regain government in next May’s election prime minister David Cameron has promised to hold a referendum on the UK’s participation in the EU.  He has had little choice in the matter given the rise in popularity of Nigel Farage’s UKIP.

Bill Cash

“We (the UK) are the only member state without a constitution, we are in a different position to other members, we are voluntary,” Cash told the committee.

I have evidence from various polls taken in my own political experience that if we do go to a referendum 70% of Britons will vote to leave.
The EU is not sleepwalking but accelerating into disorder with what’s happening in Greece, and there is the problem of the complete economic over-domination of Germany.
“What was all this for? Peace and security for members was the initial idea of the union, not intrinsic internal implosion.”
“Everyone is locked into the idea that you can’t do anything about any of this but we will show that you can.”
“Lest we forget, Britain twice saved the world from tyranny, the issue will be decided by us. And soon, before 2017 when we are due to hold the presidency.”
“If we are so integral to the workings of the EU, well then the Union should reflect that fact and perhaps have structures built around us. And to the extent that Ireland is so connected to our economy, maybe you should consider taking such action yourselves.”


Hmmm.  So what would the implications be of the UK leaving the European Union, both for them and for us?

Speaking to, professor of finance at Trinity College Brian Lucey said that any such move by Britain would be “absurdly stupid”.

“It would be absolute imbecility on their part,” he said.

All it would do is serve to precipitate the breakup of the UK because the Scots want to be part of Europe even if the English don’t.
It would mean absolutely nothing for the EU however. They’ll simply breathe a sigh of relief and get on with things.
And it’s ridiculous for Britain to complain that they don’t get a fair deal in Europe, they get all the benefits with none of the costs because they operate their own currency, and they’re paying far less towards the EU than a country of their size should be.

Brian Lucey wordpress Brian Lucey Brian Lucey / Wordpress Brian Lucey / Wordpress / Wordpress

As for how Ireland would be affected, Lucey doesn’t think it would be half as bad as people might fear.

“It would be enormously destabilising, no doubt about that. We would have to secure our borders, and that means with Northern Ireland whether we like it or not. And there’s the issue of the several hundred thousand Irish working in the UK and vice versa,” he said.

But economically, it really wouldn’t be that bad. True, we do most of our trade with Britain, but if that disappears, there would be plenty of European partners falling over themselves to grab a slice of that pie.

Not that Lucey expects it to happen.

“Look, a lot of misguided British people may want to leave Europe, but plenty of sensible British people don’t, common sense will most likely prevail,” he added.

Not all bad news then. The UK election is certainly going to be an interesting one though.

Read: Here’s the advice the Government was given on the Scottish referendum

Read: Leaflet at UKIP conference claims LGBT education is ‘sexual grooming’

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