Signs that plates are shifting over Brexit?

While not exactly a flood tide, the case for Irexit made by economist Ray Kinsella has become a trickle of two.

With a few distinguished exceptions, “official” Ireland has bought into the “spin”’. It has made the European Union the custodian of our national interests. It has ceded its responsibility for negotiations on our future relationship with our nearest neighbour and largest single-country trading partner. This makes no sense. The risks of trading the approval of “Europe” for the long-term interests of the country are enormous..

Whatever the nature of the post-Brexit governance of Europe, little consideration will be given to Ireland’s needs and its capabilities. How could they be? On all issues that matter, the centre will advance its own agenda.

 

Amnesia can be a terrible thing. It is only prudent to remember that in the bailout negotiations the European Central Bank (ECB) cut the ground from underneath Ireland when we were at our most vulnerable. Ajai Chopra, then IMF mission chief, recalls it was the International Monetary Fund – not Europe – that advocated against the harshness of the adjustment which the ECB attempted to impose and, also, ECB pressure to impose on Ireland losses that should have been borne by the bondholders of delinquent banks. The threats of what would happen if Ireland did not come to heel came from Europe.

 

Fintan O’Toole for one would  agree with the last bit. So why not Irexit? Because a switch back to the punt could provoke the mother of all financial crises. And Ireland’s position as the off-shore centre for foreign investment into Europe could disappear. Those are the big fears at any rate. In value terms exports  to the continental EU and beyond exceeded UK exports  long ago, even though in volume and employment terms the gap is closer. Basic  instincts are  in play too; EU membership  freed the Republic from Britain’s shadow and  they’ll pay a considerable price to keep it that way. Modern European oppression  is preferable to the  old British variety and hopefully shorter lived. Prof Kinsella must try harder and find stronger, positive reasons for quitting.

Meanwhile over at the negotiations, reports of a  shift in British strategy.  Logical perhaps but  just a tad desperate at this stage?

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  • Philip Murphy

    Leaving the € is an absolute impossibility for Ireland. The old Punt would be worth £1.17!! today and it is argued that due to our strong exports, a Punt nua would appreciate immediately. We may like to blame the € for many things but Ireland, just like Germany, benefits immensely from having an artificially weak currency to sell in.

  • Nevin

    “reports of a shift in British strategy.”

    Is it one way traffic? Has there been a shift in French strategy? Have there been any moves toward ever closer union? Multi-speed EU?

    But France and other EU nations have made it clear they are willing to begin thrashing out details of a new deal as early as October, according to The Daily Telegraph.

    It is reporting senior French diplomats have set out a proposal encouraging the UK to request a three-year transitional deal if it continues to pay into the EU Budget and accepts EU law.

    Slugger is context-lite in the UK vs EU-27 story.

  • Marcus Orr

    “ECB pressure to impose on Ireland losses that should have been borne by the bondholders of delinquent banks. The threats of what would happen if Ireland did not come to heel came from Europe.”

    This is of course true. From Europe through Germany we could say. The Germans simply wanted to make sure that they would not be paying for the Irish debt. I lived in Germany at the time and I remember well the common German position (voiced by all their major politicians) that if push comes to shove the UK as close friend & neighbour should give Ireland a helping hand with their debt, but Germany sure as heck wouldn’t against those Irish with their ultra low corporate taxes.
    People forget that the EU is nothing more than an extension of a German dominated zone under direct German influence and supervision (and with Germany calling the shots when things get serious).
    The “raison d’être” of the EEC/EC/EU was to ensure a peaceful collaboration and reconciliation between Germany and France by giving France (la Grande Nation) certain outward signs of importance (Francophony in the EU institutions, EU parliament in Strasbourg) while the real power and decision making would be taken by Germany. France gets to keep face, Germany gets the power, France gets security in knowing that she is now together with Germany in close union and no longer threatened by her.
    Why the UK joined is a great mystery. I can see why the ROI joined at the time, and obviously the EU structural funds helped the South a lot back in the 80’s and 90’s, but I think a review is rather necessary down South too. One of the main upcoming German “projects” for the Union (i.e. things that must and will come to pass) is a harmonization of corporate tax levels across the Union to stop some states (such as the ROI) from cheating with low tax levels to attract multinationals and other big US companies whilst being in the same monetary zone.
    Dublin’s prosperity depends to a large extent on low corporate tax levels.

  • Damien Mullan

    Ray Kinsella, now joins former Ambassador Ray Bassett’s, rather drastic prescription soultion to a problem that holds greater hazard and harm than from any of the illnesses associated with Brexit vis-a-vis Ireland.

    Conjuring up an anti-EU appetite where none currently exists, reminds one of the failure to convince Americans in the 1970’s to adopt the Metric System over Imperial.

    The British often deride the Irish preconceive habit of wallowing in victimhood, now instead, at least as far as Mr Kinsella is suggesting, the Irish are to be admonished for not wallowing long enough, as far as it concerns the Banking Bailout and Euro Sovereign Debt Crisis of almost a decade ago.

    As for modern oppression, as David McWilliams often says, you can tell alot about a place by the numbers clamouring to get in, with a return to net inward migration into Ireland last year, it’s an oppressive place the popularity of which would have been alien to those Irish generations who endured the writ of Britain pre-Independence.

  • hgreen

    You talk of peaceful collaboration and reconciliation as though it’s a bad thing.

    Dublin’s prosperity does not depend on low corp tax levels. (Many multinationals avoid them anyway. ) It depends on location, time zone, language, a highly educated workforce and cultural reasons.

    There are over 500m reasons why the uk joined the EU.

  • Marcus Orr

    “You talk of peaceful collaboration and reconciliation as though it’s a bad thing.”
    It is a good thing to reconcile with your neighbour, but you don’t need to all live under the same roof. Sleeping together in the same house ain’t so good. That’s when things get uncomfortable. (While it was only the EEC/EC, France was ok with the arrangement. Now that it’s a monetary and fiscal union in the EU, we understand why the French voted 46% anti EU last election, they are not stupid.
    The UK lost its sovereignty, its common law, its independence, its fishing waters were decimated, its customs, measurements and traditions were lost, watered down or replaced. And it paid a huge net contribution in £ for the pleasure. No, it was an immensely stupid decision to join. A decision like Norway’s to remain an independent country but join the European Economic Area would have been the right way to go. Even now the Norway option (rather than downright departure from the common market) would be the way the go. But UK was unlucky enough to be inside the EU already. The EU wants and needs to punish the UK – they will never accept giving UK the Norway option now).
    Dublin’s prosperity depends on a lot of things, you’re right. But we’ll see soon enough when the tax level gets raised to the German level what sort of real effect this will have – 12.5% vs. 30% – will be interesting to see the reaction from multinationals mid-term to this change I reckon.

  • hgreen

    More Brexit nonsense. I was waiting for the £350m a week phrase. The UK did not lose its sovereignty or its independence. For example we decided to go to war a few times without EU support which sounds like the actions of an independent state.

    I note you make no mention of the city of London and financial services which has greatly benefited from EU membership.

  • NotNowJohnny

    The UK didn’t lose its sovereignty. That is the myth promoted by the leave lobby and all too easily bought by those who didn’t know any better and chose not to inform themselves. Parliament remains supreme. Parliament chose to adopt the European communities act 1972. Freely. There was no referendum back then. Parliament agreed to European legislation taking precedence but it didn’t sacrifice its sovereignty. Parliament could at any time have repealed the 1972 Act but choose not to, time and time again. Parliament has still not done so more than a year after the 2016 referendum. But it may do soon. But only if it chooses to. Ironically those who cry loudest about sovereignty these days are inevitably those who demand that parliament should not be supreme but rather than the vote of the people is supreme. A very odd position to take.

  • Hugh Davison

    Ah, I get you. It was the Germans that forced the UK to go to war in Iraq.

  • consul

    The CTA will probably prove untenable in the end.

  • epg_ie

    The EU embodies not just Irish freedom from Britain but also Irish freedom from Rome. The former is Bassett’s problem as a public advocate – he seems too Anglophile. The latter is Kinsella’s.

  • ted hagan

    Why did it join. Quite simply Britain was on its uppers, having lost its empire. By the time it finally joined its GDP it was way behind its European rivals.

  • Marcus Orr

    “Why did it join”
    That’s the million dollar question. After the dramatic & panic sell-off of all its colonies in record time (the emergency release of many of the colonies needlessly causing several of the problems we see around the world today, e.g. Palestine, Zimbabwe) the country seemed to have lost its nerve. The experience of being bankrupt after WW2 and the Suez crises in 1956 led to a loss of nerve, and the idea that the EEC was crucial for the future. Heath cleverly hushed up the loss of sovereignty that was entailed in joining in 1973. People thought it was merely joining a free trade zone, not a state with aspirations towards federalism and monetary union. But those future plans were articulated from the late 1960’s. Heath didn’t plan honestly with the public. And no-one mentioned the fact that a free-trading zone was to be had without entering the Union by behaving like Norway and entering the EEA. Some payments are made but all in all Norway keeps large parts of its sovereignty and does very well out of the EEA.

  • Marcus Orr

    What a strange and silly ad homimem comment.
    I didn’t insinuate that ALL sovereignty has been lost to the Brussels superstate, certainly not yet anyway. And several intelligent people with common sense made key blockages along the way (such as Gordon Brown who managed to head off the Blair idiot who would have taken us headlong into the Euro currency). So not all sovereignty has been surrendered yet, only some large parts of it.

  • hollandia

    There are a few things wrong in that post by Marcus. Particularly the claim that France voted 46% Anti Eu in the last Election – I can see no evidence of that whatsoever. In the legislative elections – the last French Election – the three Eurosceptic Parties – Front Nationale, French Communist Party and Debout La France garnered less than 16% of the vote.

    In the first round of the French Presidential Elections, the Anti Eu vote was just over 25% – Debout la France and FN (the communists did not run). I cannot find a 46% figure anywhere.

  • Marcus Orr

    The UK has lost a large measure of its sovereignty and its independence. Command of troops is one of the few areas that the federal EU hasn’t touched yet, although Brussels desperately wants to get its hands on this too. It’s just too early to make a grab for this final ultimate part of national sovereignty. Too many people who blithely think the EU is great would get the picture if they make this grab too soon. Even the French would be “up in arms” about that. The whole point of the EU is gradual but sure incremental movement towards complete federal union, with no step taken in that direction being reversible. No wonder they are furious about Brexit in Brussels, the people are not supposed to exercise this sort of democratic power, it’s just not on.

  • Marcus Orr

    Result of the first round of the presidential election on 23rd April:
    Melenchon (anti EU): 19.58%
    Le Pen (anti EU): 21.30 %
    Dupont-Aignan (anti EU, Debout La France): 4,70%
    Asselineau (anti EU Frexit candidate): 0.92%
    Let’s see that makes….46.5% for anti EU candidates.
    Apologies accepted.

  • Marcus Orr

    And before you say that Melenchon is not an anti EU candidate, please inform yourself. He complains every time he sees the EU flag behind Macron during a presidential speech.
    He would tear it down in an instant if he could.

  • ted hagan

    Comparisons between Norway, a tiny oil-rich nation with a massive treasure chest long into the future, and the UK, are pointless. And actually the UK recovered quite well immediately after WWII but by the time it reached the 1970s it was floundering badly.

  • Marcus Orr

    I was against the holding of a referendum myself as it was obviously just a tactic by pro-EU David Cameron to try to knock out UKIP once and for all.
    A referendum is simply not foreseen as an object to be used in the British system. The supreme court was correct in its ruling that the referendum result is in itself not binding on Parliament. Thanks to Cameron we now have that situation in which the majority of the British people want out but 75% of the elected MP’s in parliament, plus the BBC and large sections of the media want no such thing.
    The only way that we will ever reliably get out of this federal superstate is by electing people to parliament who are committed to leaving, which is not the case we have today.

  • ted hagan

    You must know surely that it is illogical and fraudulent to deduce this from first round French election voting patterns where much of the voting is tactical and often far removed from the final result? The fact is that a pro-EU candidate won the election comfortably.

  • Marcus Orr

    I’m not comparing the UK to Norway as a country, but merely pointing out that the method they used (EEA but no way EU) was very sensible, paid off for them in keeping access to Europe’s markets and guarantees them a much larger measure of sovereignty over their own affairs. Whether they’re big or not is not the point.
    The UK could and should have down this back in the 70’s and 80’s instead of joining. Even now the leave camp should be focusing on canvassing for a Norway model of leaving and not a complete big leave scenario. It’s probably the only way they will get most of the remainers on board. The EU will block this option of course (once you’re in you can’t leave, punishment must come) but at least everyone would see once and for all what is really going on in the negotiating process and the real EU mindset which is no compromise, break them.

  • Marcus Orr

    It is actually exactly the other way around. I should know I’ve lived in France for 6 years. The real voting for the candidate you want comes in the 1st round. Then only the first two candidates remain in the game, and then in the 2nd round the real tactical stuff comes…hence all the left-wing Melenchon (anti-EU) supporters either abstained or voted Macron 2nd round, because despite both Melenchon & Le Pen being very anti EU, communists & hardline socialists will not vote for extreme right groups.
    In the 2nd round 65% of those voting for Macron said they did it for tactical reasons (to block the FN) not because he was their candidate. Plus there was record abstention (only 44% of people bothered to vote) the second time round. Macron did not win because he is pro-EU, he won because he was not Marine Le Pen.

  • hollandia

    Melenchon is not Anti EU. As well you know. There is a difference between Eurocritical and Eurosceptic. France insoumises policy is described thus: “Soft Euroscepticism is support for the existence of, and membership of, a form of European Union, but with opposition to specific EU policies;”
    So not anti-EU at all.

  • hollandia

    See above. Melenchon is not Anti EU.

  • Marcus Orr

    Nonsense. He is strongly anti EU. The policies he actually advocates will never be accepted by Germany or by Brussels. He knows that. If he ever got elected the EU would be just as alarmed as if Le Pen got in.
    Notice what they say “a form of European Union”. Heck, even Farage supports a form of European union and co-operation, just not this EU with its federal union.
    Wake up and smell the coffee.

  • ted hagan

    Having lived in France for seven years I think I know the French voting system quite well and that the first round is the platform for tactical voting where right can vote left, and vice versa, to thwart rval candidates. the runoff system was actually devised to try to prevent tactical voting. I thought you would have known that?

  • Old Mortality

    Marcus
    The proposed harmonization of EU corporate taxation is confined to creating a common basis for taxation. For the moment at least, it does not envisage the creation of a common or minimum EU corporate tax rate although that possibility may gain momentum with the UK’s departure.

  • Marcus Orr

    I see you stayed very ignorant on French politics then, didn’t you learn anything in 7 years ? Oh well, I had hoped you were talking before from not knowing the country, but if you’ve lived there, and come out with that, then I’m sorry, there’s little hope for you.

  • Marcus Orr

    I do take your point, however I am aware of what the political will is in Germany on this question and I do think that a move towards a common EU corporate tax rate will gain momentum, as you say, from now on.

  • Marcus Orr

    I have seen Melenchon on TV the last 3 years and heard all his speeches (I am fluent in French). I can assure you that the man is anti EU.

  • ted hagan

    No, the message from is you can leave but you can’t have the best of both worlds. That’s plain common sense. The best-worst solution for Britain will still see it paying into the EU but in a weaker position than it was previously.

  • ted hagan

    That’s not a response, that is simply being snide.

  • Old Mortality

    ‘Dublin’s prosperity does not depend on low corp tax levels.’
    So why have them? Think of all the cash you could raise by increasing the rate because of course the multinationals would willingly pay a higher rate for all the other benefits of being based in the RoI.

  • Marcus Orr

    No, being snide is when someone gives you some uncontested statistics on the 1st and 2nd round voting such as:

    Melenchon (anti EU): 19.58%
    Le Pen (anti EU): 21.30 %
    Dupont-Aignan (anti EU, Debout La France): 4,70%
    Asselineau (anti EU Frexit candidate): 0.92%
    Let’s see that makes….46.5% for anti EU candidates.

    In the 2nd round 65% of those voting for Macron said they did it for tactical reasons (to block the FN) not because he was their candidate. Plus there was record abstention (only 44% of people bothered to vote)

    These are what could be commonly called “facts”. Instead of contending with these facts you made no remark on how the tactical voting went to Macron and snidely remarked that you’ve lived in France so… (to be fair I said the same myself so you were just following suit). But to be honest in your analysis you have to contend with the statistics I gave you, and you simply haven’t done this.

  • hollandia

    I’m sure you have. I’ve described his party’s position adequately. Not anti-EU. It’s the equivalent of saying Labour was pro-brexit because Jeremy Corbyn has doubts about the EU.

  • runnymede

    Excellent article by Kinsella. ‘Brexit/Irexit for slow learners’

  • Marcus Orr

    Yes but you seem to have a poor grasp of French politics. The French Labour Party is pro EU but it’s candidate got 6% of the vote. Melenchon has his own party “La France Insoumise” which is hard left but he chose to go it alone and not to align with the French communists. It’s basically a one man party, Melenchon is founder and supremo / head honcho all in one. Whoever votes for that party knows what they are getting. Severe anti austerity and strong protest against the EU and against the “pro-EU” line followed by the conventional French right, left and center.
    Melenchon was in a fit again the other week because he saw a EU flag in the French Presidential headquarters. He is rabidly anti EU from a left wing perspective, like a Tony Benn would have been back in the day in the UK.

  • runnymede

    Yes, as Ireland still in the EU won’t be able to avoid Schengen.

  • hollandia

    My grasp is fine, because I’ve simply repeated party policy. If on the other hand, he is at odds with his party policy, that’s another matter entirely. But, then who are the voters to believe and what did they actually vote for, if the leader is at odds with his own party policy?

  • hollandia

    “Contrary to what I often read, we don’t plan to leave the EU: we aim to force the renegotiation of its treaties by means of unilateral disobedience. From the moment we come to power, we will implement a massive, environmentally focused Keynesian stimulus funded via a public bank, thus kickstarting the French economy and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/19/jean-luc-melenchon-french-president-europe

  • Marcus Orr

    Melenchon is the party, and concerning party policy you haven’t responded to my prior point above:

    Notice what they say “a form of European Union”. Heck, even Farage supports a form of European union and co-operation, just not this EU with its federal union.

  • Marcus Orr

    “we aim to force the renegotiation of its treaties by means of unilateral disobedience”
    Exactly. Renegotiation of the treaties ! You’re making my points for me, keep it up. Don’t you understand that there will never be a “re-negotiation” of the treaties – or if this comes it means the break-up of this federal EU into something else ?

  • hollandia

    Far from making your point, I’m amply demonstrating why you are wrong. Eurocritical as opposed to Eurosceptic. I’m not getting into a circular argument with you. The “Anti EU” vote was not 46%. Even if we accept your premise that melenchon is Anti EU, as opposed to EU reformist, you are predicating your argument on the basis that the legislative election was fought entirely on the basis of Europe. Which is patently nonsense. Its the equivalent of voting for UKIP in a local election because of their position on Europe as opposed to their proposals for refuse collection and housing.

  • Marcus Orr

    If Melenchon and his party are “Euro-critical”, then UKIP and Farage are “Euro-critical” too.

  • Marcus Orr

    “you are predicating your argument on the basis that the legislative election was fought entirely on the basis of Europe”
    Finally, I can agree with you on this one point. You are right, it was not an election fought solely on the EU question, many other matters were on hand. A straight Frexit question would surely give a much different return. I was making no such claim that France might vote Frexit, but merely stating correctly that 46.5% of votes in the presidential election this year went to anti EU candidates. This does not mean that a Frexit is imminent, each country is different. But France is not the happy EU-land that it maybe was pre-Euro 15 years ago.

  • Old Mortality

    Why?

  • hollandia

    You appear not to understand the difference between Euro critical and Eurosceptic. And it appears to be senseless trying to explain the difference.

  • Marcus Orr

    Well strictly speaking the term “Eurosceptic” means absolutely nothing, it’s a nonsense term. The EU exists, what is there to be sceptical about. It’s just a term bandied about by pro-EU people because they think it casts people who are against the EU and its overarching federalism in a bad light.
    Euro critics are the people who haven’t read Jean Monnet and all the EU founding father doctrines, and who ludicrously think that the EU can be reformed from the inside. Anti EU, but pro-European people (such as myself) are long-term EU critics who have finally read their Monnet and know that this EU is not going to be reformed because that is not the central tenet of its existence.

  • hollandia

    Thank you for making my point for me.

  • consul

    You cannot be in the single market and have a bilateral trade/movement agreement with a third country.

  • consul

    Ireland never wanted to avoid Schengen. It was only the maintenance of the CTA that prevented entry.

  • Marcus Orr

    ??

  • Gavin Crowley

    He’s good at pointing out problems, but Irexit doesn’t solve them – it creates bigger problems than the ones it tries to solve.
    When England has less than 40% of the population of the Isles and Ireland gets back to its longer term average of about 30% then we can talk. Until then the EU is a better bet, warts and all.

  • runnymede

    Perhaps so, but that’s irrelevant to my point. The choice will have to be made sooner or later. At which point the broader special status the Irish enjoy in the UK will probably go also.

  • Trasna

    Excellent. Been an advocate of getting rid of the CTA for years. A blast from the past and good riddenance.

  • Trasna

    Who’s payroll is Kinsella on?

  • Trasna

    Leave and EU and lose 97 trading partners instantly

  • Jim Jetson

    And you’d love that wouldn’t you.

  • runnymede

    On the contrary, as a mega-unionist and anglosphere man I would regret it greatly. But that is where Ireland’s EU membership must eventually lead. You can’t ride two horses forever.

  • NewSouthernMan

    I don’t understand the desire by some unionists for ‘Irexit”.

    I thought they considered the South a completely separate country, like Spain or Poland.

    Yet they never mention Spainxit or Polandxit.

    Funny that.

  • consul

    In other words you’re in complete agreement with what I originally said. Lol.

  • Marcus Orr

    I certainly don’t consider the South as a different country, just a part of the country which left us a hundred years ago, that’s all.
    I think as well our desire for Irexit is genuine and based on real-politics; we are aware that we got sold down the river back in the Belfast Agreement in 1998, that the UK is desperate to be rid of us and surrendered to Sinn Féin in ’98 (under duress from the USA) in order to be rid of us as a troublesome province.
    We know that under the terms of the GFA a resounding vote for NI remaining in the UK is always provisional, the vote can be repeated every 7 years until the “right” result is found. The first and only time that 50,0000001% vote in NI for a United Ireland (provided the South votes for it too) the matter is settled and we are ceded to the Republic for everymore. Those were the terms of the 1998 British Govt. surrender to Billy Clinton et al (along with the various disgusting releases of loyalist and republican murderers from prison).
    So given that we are aware of where our future lies or will lie (in an united Ireland) we may as well hope for one positive development which would be freedom from the Brussels superstate – which is crumbling anyway over the next 10-15 years.

  • harmlessdrudge

    For a comprehensive and amusing demolition of Kinsella’s nonsense see

    https://brianmlucey.wordpress.com/2017/08/30/a-fisking-we-shall-go-ray-kinsella-edition/

  • Neville Bagnall

    “A much larger measure of sovereignty over their own affairs”

    What exactly? As members of the EEA they accept the 4 freedoms, they pay into it, including effectively the Cohesion Fund, they are obliged to keep their legislation in sync with EU legislation, the EEA is largely regulated and administered by EU institutions including the EC, and the EFTA court is required to follow ECJ jurisprudence.

    They are outside the Customs Union, and they don’t participate in the Single Market with regards to Agriculture and Fisheries.

    Much larger? Really?

  • Neville Bagnall

    Since any moves on taxation will require unanimity and have died a death many times before, I won’t be holding my breath.

    I suspect we’ll see an EU Finance Minister and Ministry well before we see any significant moves on taxation.

    The geo-core states – or someone – will have to provide an alternative competitive advantage for the peripheral states before they will give up low taxation as a counter to the economies of agglomeration.

    Plus, headline and marginal tax rates are notoriously misleading, perhaps most of all for corporate tax. For instance compare the placement of Ireland in the corporate tax graphics on these two reports:

    https://taxfoundation.org/competitiveness-impact-of-tax-reform-for-the-united-states/

    https://itep.org/us-collects-smaller-share-of-corporate-taxes-than-developed-country-average/

  • mickfealty

    Ray is not a unionist.

  • NewSouthernMan

    I was referring to Brian Walker.

    ” Prof Kinsella must try harder and find stronger, positive reasons for quitting.”

  • rustbucketblues

    Byrne, Bassett and Kinsella – 3 old Pale guys – their opinions on Brexit are driven by an opportunistic desire to chip away at Irish independence and get the South de facto re-integrated into the UK, at whatever cost. Each has been banging an anti-EU drum, to little effect, for years.
    Bassett’s partisan views have recently re-surfaced with a “Policy
    Exchange” imprimatur, and suddenly it’s reported un-critically on the
    RTÉ website as “Ireland needs to consider leaving the EU”, according
    to a “UK report”. That’s how media manipulation works – one day
    you’re Ray Bassett, a retired bloke with a mere personal dislike of
    the EU, the next day you’re a “UK Report”.

    As of this month, the pound is in freefall, the UK’s stagnating economy now officially is the “slowest-growing advanced economy on earth”, fed-up British business
    leaders are ganging up on the shambolic Tory administration and the
    Eurozone is thriving. Meantime, on planet Bassett, the EU faces “huge
    problems”; and Ray specifically reminds us, apparently without any
    sense of irony, that Donald Trump hailed the Brexit vote as a “great
    thing”, adding that “I thought the UK was so smart in getting out”.
    Ray also reminds us that Ireland’s “two largest export markets are the
    UK and the USA”. This too is incorrect. The (not un-typical) 2015
    Irish export percentages show that around 35% of Irish exports were to
    the EU (excluding the UK), 24% were to the US and slightly less than
    14% were to the UK. Ray also considers that the “UK will also rapidly
    negotiate free trade arrangements with other countries, such as New
    Zealand, Australia etc., in a relatively short time.” Ray offers no
    basis for this wishful thinking. In fact, as of December 2016,
    Australia ignored the UK when it gave a lucrative 36.3 billion dollar
    order for new submarines to France. As a lifelong career-diplomat,
    Ray perhaps fails to appreciate that businesses vote strictly with
    their wallets and that Ray’s evident Commonwealth sentiment has
    nothing to do with it. To paraphrase “Dublin born” (certainly not “Irish”) Ray,
    “it is yet another example of excessive Anglophilia in the face of
    economic reality”.

    This partisan claptrap of course is par for the course for the Policy
    Exchange, a secretly-funded right-wing agit-prop body with a flair for
    nutty ideas and an appetite for policy distortion (unsurprisingly,
    uber-dweeb Michael Gove was an early trustee). For instance, in 2008, it
    suggested that Northern English cities such as Liverpool and
    Sunderland had failed and that northerners should just migrate to the
    south. David Cameron swiftly distanced himself from the report,
    describing it as “complete rubbish” and “insane”.

  • Reader

    consul: You cannot be in the single market and have a bilateral trade/movement agreement with a third country.
    The CTA is nothing to do with trade, only movement.
    And post-Brexit movement isn’t a problem for the CTA because Ireland isn’t in Schengen.

  • Timothyhound

    Kinsella is fairly widely regarded as charming but generally well off the pace when it comes to the realities of business. He gets covered because of contrarian views!

  • consul

    The CTA is nothing to do with trade, only movement.

    Well sure but then no one said it was. trade/movement = trade or movement.

    As for the second bit, Ireland is in the single market and the customs union, post Brexit Britain will apparently not be. This means Britain will not be subject to the four freedoms, that being of the free movement of goods, capital, services and labour. As Britain will be denying Europe these freedoms in its territory it naturally follows that Europe will deny Britain the same, these things being reciprocal. Which kind of puts the kibosh on the CTA. Sorry for the late reply.