Irexit threat: EU nightmare as Irish politicians draw up plan to leave Brussels ‘bullies’

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Ireland is watching the Brexit process unfold as an opportunity to learn how to make a swift exit from the EU, according to a leading Irish diplomat. Ray Bassett, a former Irish Ambassador and Good Friday Agreement delegate, has said it is now time for Ireland to leave the Brussels-led bloc. Dr Bassett said that the “EU bullies” had “the hallmarks of an empire” as he urged Ireland to shift its trade towards the US, Canada and the UK instead of the EU.

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Speaking with the Irish Freedom Party, Dr Bassett said: “I don’t think Ireland would want to go through the same process as the UK if they were to leave the EU, and I don’t think the EU would want to either.

“We have to express our long-term aspirations. I would never see a role for the European Court of Justice in any country that left the EU. It is imperial, not impartial.

“The EU has all the hallmarks of an empire, which bullies its local neighbours.

“I don’t think WTO terms is as much of an option to Ireland as it is to the UK.”

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The distinguished Irish diplomat continued: “We need to retain membership of the European Economic Area (EEA) for some years, so we can do what Norway does.

“Norway opts in and opts out of policies and contributes an awful lot less to the EU budget.

“The populations of Ireland and Norway are also very similar so Norway feels like a good model for us to follow.

“In my plan, we would move to the European Economic Area for a period of time, and stay in the customs union and single market.

“That would give us time to sculpt more independent trade policy. I believe we will end up much more with Canada, the United States, and Britain – the anglophone area.

“It is where our people go, it is where our investment goes normally.”

Dr Bassett wrote a book, Ireland and the EU Post Brexit, this year where he condemned Ireland’s former Taoiseach Leo Varadkar for his efforts “to thwart the democratic outcome in the UK”.


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He wrote: “The gamble failed and Ireland is now facing a very difficult situation.

“Opposing a fair deal for the UK was never in Ireland’s interests. It was a huge blunder.”

Launched in September 2018, the Irish Freedom Party was formed to campaign for an Irish exit from the EU.

Earlier today, the EU launched legal action against Boris Johnson’s government over breaching the terms of the withdrawal agreement.

Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission president, announced that the UK had been put on formal notice over the internal market bill, which ministers admit breaks international law.

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