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Nigel Farage says Ireland should rejoin the Commonwealth to hedge our bets on the EU

“I would say this – the Queen is, you know, a figurehead, shes’ not the leader, doesn’t make the law, she can’t do anything other than be a global ambassador for the Commonwealth.”

UKIP leader Nigel Farage before a Brexit poster featuring a queue of migrants last June. The poster's anti-immigrant tenor was criticised by other pro-Brexit politicians such as Boris Johnson.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage before a Brexit poster featuring a queue of migrants last June. The poster's anti-immigrant tenor was criticised by other pro-Brexit politicians such as Boris Johnson.
Image: PA Wire/Press Association Images

NIGEL FARAGE SAYS Ireland should rejoin the Commonwealth as a way of “hedging our bets” with Europe.

The anti-immigration British politician stood down as leader of Eurosceptic United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) following the vote by a majority of people in the UK to leave the EU.

Speaking from Strasbourg – where he said he would remain as an MEP until Britain leaves the European Union – Farage spoke at length about the “unique relationship” between Ireland and the UK and how this will ensure the continued trade between the two nations.

“The relationship between Ireland and the UK is absolutely unique,” he told the Moncrieff Show on Newstalk.

“I know there is an historical difficulty and that is that the Queen is seen to be the head, well she is the head, of the Commonwealth.

And I know that perhaps that poses some historical problems within the Republic of Ireland.
But I would say this – the Queen is, you know, a figurehead, shes’ not the leader, doesn’t make the law, she can’t do anything other than be a global ambassador for the Commonwealth.

“I would just say to people in Ireland that joining the Commonwealth might be a good way of hedging your bets for the future, given what a mess the European Union is in.”

Britain Queens Speech Source: PA

Hurrah

“We have had a free movement area between the two of us. It has been going on now for 95 years,” Farage added.

If Ireland was part of Schengen, that might make life much more difficult, but sensibly you said no to that.

I would also say, I think the Queen’s visit – so many things that have happened over the course of the last few years.I think the relationship between our two countries is the best is has ever been.

All I can say is ‘hurrah’ to that.

“There will be farmers in the Republic who will be listening to this who really need the UK market for their products – and you know what guys? We’re going to go on buying them,” he said.

“Our relationship is now a great relationship.”

Royalty - Queen Elizabeth II State Visit to Ireland Elizabeth Windsor meeting fishmonger Pat O'Connell at The English Market in Cork City on her State visit to Ireland. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Multinationals

Farage also said the EU was “designed for multinationals”, however, which some may argue with in the wake of the European Commission judgment on Apple.

He gave this as one reason Ireland should consider leaving the EU, and also said that Ireland’s trade is mainly with the EU and the USA – although Irish exports to Belgium are  actually more lucrative than those to Britain.

He said Ireland must “ask itself the question” as to our EU membership in the wake of the Apple judgment.

[T]his extraordinary judgment last week, where a deal between the Irish Government in Dublin and a major multinational has been overturned.

“I think Ireland, in the next few years, perhaps short few years, is going to have to have the same debate about its relationship with the European Union, about its right to its own Government, as we’ve just had here.

“There has been some work done on this which suggests that what Ireland has lost in terms of fisheries resources far outweighs any money that has come into your country, through new roads or whatever else it is.”

I think there is going to be a real debate in Ireland on this over the course of the next few years.

Read: I’m off: David Cameron resigns as an MP with immediate effect

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