Commenting on the foreign policy and constitutional decisions and preferences of another nation is often problematic (consider the anger felt by many UK citizens regarding President Obama’s comments about the Brexit referendum). Given the tempestuous history of relations between Ireland and Great Britain and then between the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom, I shall endeavour to be careful in my wording of this post.
Firstly, I should like to draw the reader’s attention to the fact that there is genuine support for Irexit among the citizens of the ROI. How large a proportion of the population this faction is, I cannot say. Nor can I say what proportions within that group favour each possible option for departure:
- WTO terms;
- Membership of the EFTA;
- Membership of the customs union;
- A bespoke deal; or
- A Canada-style deal.
Various issues are discussed on the Irexit Freedom channel, many of which appear to be that same as mentioned by citizens of the UK in the context of Brexit, even if their expression is different in Ireland. Among these issues are:
- Membership of the Euro and the behaviour of the ECB;
- Being a net contributor to the EU;
- The creation of an EU military and the contributions required of Member States to its budget, materiel, and personnel;
- The non-applicability of parts of EU law to EU institutions themselves (e.g. the Commission);
- Overregulation and the impact it has on the economy;
- Lack of democratic accountability;
- Divided loyalty (conflicts of interests) among Irish civil servants and politicians;
- Potential harm to Irish culture, traditions, and values because of immigration and EU laws and policies;
- Exacerbated division between the ROI and Northern Ireland and between the ROI and the UK generally; and
- The unthinking loyalty to the EU among centrists and leftists as an indication of wider issues raised in the culture wars.
The ROI has already seen itself treated as a pawn by the EU in the matter of the “Irish Backstop”; I would direct readers to Richard Barker’s blog for discussion of this topic and prophetic words that are related to it. It is imperative, whatever the nature of the UK’s departure from the EU, that the UK and the ROI maintain and improve cordial relations between themselves, whether the ROI remains in the EU or not. True rapprochement and understanding between these two nations would be beneficial, and I am delighted that citizens of the ROI and of the UK do have good individual relationships, including via the internet.
I cannot say definitively what would be best for Ireland, but it is my hope that our two countries can have fruitful economic relations and that revival from God may spread in both lands. It is my prayer that such revival will, among other things, be a means of both unity and healthy diversity embodied in loyalty to Christ.