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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 18 February, 2020

'If Brexit goes well, the public pressure in Ireland for an EU exit will grow' - Nigel Farage

“Twice in the last 16 years Ireland has rejected EU treaties,” the former Ukip leader said this morning.

Brexit Source: Yui Mok

NIGEL FARAGE HAS said that he believes Brexit could lead to pressure within Ireland for a similar exit from the EU, assuming that the British are obviously better off in the wake of their own exit.

The former Ukip leader, one of Europe’s most controversial politicians, rejected the “great story” that Ireland “is a very pro-EU country”.

“Yet, twice in the last 16 years Ireland has rejected EU treaties,” Farage told RTÉ’s Today with Seán O’Rourke.

If the British government gets on with Brexit, and two or 3 years  down the road we are clearly better off – better off democratically, better off economically, better off in terms of our industries, if we can do that then the pressure and public opinion in Ireland will very much move in our direction.

Farage also clarified his position regarding the resignation of the UK’s ambassador to the EU Sir Ivan Rogers, a resignation he had welcomed.

“I thought he should have resigned the day David Cameron did to be honest,” he said.

This man is a career diplomat and a dedicated advocate of membership of the EU. 20 years ago civil servants didn’t have political opinions, they just did what their government told them to do. This guy has spent 20 years trying to build a European state.

Farage added that Rogers “has the mind of a bureaucrat”. “He told the government it would take 10 years to negotiate a trade deal with the EU.”

If you’re as pessimistic as that then you’re the wrong man for the job.

Donald Trump

Rogers, in his resignation notice, had seemed to cast aspersions on the Brexit process by warning EU negotiators they must challenge “ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking”.

Elaborating on what may come next in the Brexit process, particularly given the UK government has not as yet set out its stall regarding whether it is hoping for a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ exit from the Union, Farage said that “if Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit… we’re in for a political shock, a shock even bigger than the referendum result last June”.

Trump The Brexit Effect Source: Gerald Herbert

“We had a political revolution in the UK last year, but with the exception of David Cameron and George Osborne all the same players remain in key positions,” he said.

In America the revolution is complete because Trump won and has put new people in.

Regarding Trump, a man he appears to share plenty of common ground with, Farage said:

“We’re seeing it already, we’ve never before seen a president-elect behaving like he was president already. Trump is using his muscle and his weight and saying to corporations ‘come on, put American interests first’.”

Now the Dow Jones is at 20,000, an all-time high. Even before he’s sworn in, he’s made one hell of a start.

Regarding what role he himself might play in future Anglo-American relations (Trump had previously called for Farage to be made US ambassador), he said:

“I not only have the support and confidence of the president-elect, I don’t want paying or anything like that but if I can help build a bridge between the British government and the new American administration, then I would love to do that.”

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