Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Michel Barnier during a press conference at Dundalk Institute of Technology.

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A party is being launched today that's calling for Ireland to leave the EU

Former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett said that the benefits of Ireland’s EU membership are diminishing, especially after Brexit.
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A NEW PARTY is holding a conference in Dublin today where it will host a discussion on the possible benefits there would be for Ireland if it left the EU. 

A meeting will be held this afternoon at the Bonnington Hotel; a ticket sourcing website said that over 50 tickets to the event were on offer.

Among the speakers at the event is Former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett. Ahead of the event, Bassett told TheJournal.ie that although he wasn’t involved in establishing the party, that Ireland “badly needed more debate” about its EU membership.

“The balance of advantages versus disadvantages of Ireland’s EU membership changes as time goes on… but the advantages are diminishing, especially if there is a no-deal Brexit.

Policies in Europe could mean that we’re restricted on the digital companies we have here, on our corporate tax rate, etc.
I think the best deal for Ireland would be that we remain in the single market, but leave the customs union.

He said that the Irish border is the main problem for Ireland and would cause huge problems if it were to come to fruition.

“That’s probably what brought me out on this issue,” he says. “There won’t be a border along the Irish Sea, even the Labour Party doesn’t agree with that.

But the UK isn’t the one that has a plan to establish a border on the island of Ireland – it’s the EU. 

He said that people aren’t taking the likelihood of a border reappearing on the island of Ireland seriously.

“The Polish Foreign Minister said that it could come down to a crunch between a no-deal Brexit and the Irish border, and I’m not so sure what will win out.

The State papers from 1924 showed that Cosgrave’s government thought a physical customs border would be too much of an inconvenience for the British government to maintain, and it would force them to put a border along the Irish Sea, but that obviously never happened. It’s the same thing again.

Irexit party spokesperson

The party plans to run in the European and national elections on a platform that calls for increased Irish sovereignty through Ireland exiting the EU.

Speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke this week, the spokesperson of the Irexit Freedom Party, Hermann Kelly, said that Ireland had fought for years against the United Kingdom to become “a self-governing independent state”.

“In 2011, the Irish Budget was approved in the Bundestag instead of the Dáil. The country was run by the Troika, they decided the economic policy of Ireland.”

He said that there had been a valid argument for Ireland to join the EU in the 1970s because it was “like a cash cow”.

“But going forward now, Ireland is a net contributor to the EU, we give them €2.7 billion (gross) per year, the net figure is half a billion.”

He said that Ireland was paying figures like Jean Claude Juncker to write and implement many of our laws, which he said were not helpful.

In a Red C poll, conducted on behalf of the European Movement group, 76% of people said that they “agreed strongly” that Ireland should remain as part of the European Union.

When asked about whether there’s public appetite for Irexit, Bassett says that polls before the Brexit vote indicated that Remain would win by a landslide.

“But in all honesty, it’s probably very much a minority taste,” he adds.

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