Dublin, Saturday 3 February 2018: Speaking in response to comments by Nigel Farage MEP on Irish radio this morning, Noelle O Connell, Executive Director of European Movement (EM) Ireland, said:
“Since Ireland joined the EU, we have gone from a stagnant economy, heavily reliant on the UK, with a GDP per capita of just 60% of the EU average, to having the second highest GDP per capita (Eurostat 2017). In contrast to what is being said, it is the EU Single Market of over 500 million consumers that is Ireland’s largest export market. Not the UK market. EU membership also allows Ireland to trade worldwide through 759 treaties and international agreements negotiated by the EU. This is something that the UK stands to lose as a result of Brexit.
“Apart from economics, our EU membership allows us all to travel, study, work, live and trade freely in 27 other countries in a Union of over 500 million people.
“While we respect the decision of the UK electorate, let’s not forget that an overwhelming majority of Irish people want to remain in the EU. A Red C poll conducted in May 2017 showed that 88% of Irish people think that we should remain in the EU and 87% believe that on balance, Ireland has benefited from EU membership.
“Finally, the organisers of today’s conference, the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy Group in the European Parliament, has not a single Irish MEP.”