Jason OMahony - Irish political blogger, Irish politics, EU politics
 

A Eurosceptic replies.

Posted by Jason O on Jul 31, 2009 in Irish Politics, Lisbon Treaty |

The EU: Guarantee of Irish freedom.
The EU: Guarantee of Irish freedom.

David Morris recently posted the following in reply to my post about UKIP:

” Just a pathetic post. I might top it only by musing that for an allegedly self confident pipple emerging from centuries of servitude under the wicked Brits, the Irish couldn’t get rid of their own currency quick enough when instructed to do so by the EUSSR………..”

I thought this was quite an interesting post, as it shows how two people can look at a situation and see two different things. It’s true, we did emerge from servititude, and the EU now acts as a bulwark against us being bullied by much larger nations. Britain has 60 million people to our 4 million, and vastly superior armed forces, two factors  which historically would trouble a nation. But thanks to the EU, we sit as equals with the Brits. This is what we fought a War of Independence for: The right, as General Collins said, for a place at the table of nations.

As for getting rid of our own currency: The Euro is our currency, in the same way that the pound sterling is the currency of the Welsh, the Cornish, the Jamaican-English or the Scottish.  And we have a representative by right on the Governing Council of the ECB. And “instructed” to do do?: We had a referendum in 1992.

Of course, it must just stick in the craw of some, who have gone from being a great empire, to having to treat the smaller EU member states with respect, countries that they could have dismissed with a wave 100 years ago. Fortunately, even in Britain, that’s a minor view.    

 

 

2 Comments

david morris
Aug 3, 2009 at 9:40 am

Its’ the economy stupid……….

Ireland’s economy is in serious trouble.  After two decades to extraordinary growth and prosperity, Gross National Product fell almost 5% year-on-year in the last quarter of last year.
The flow of foreign investment that fuelled Ireland’s success has all but dried up.  Just like in the UK, too much cheap money for too long has created a debt / asset bubble.  Like us, her banks are in trouble.  But, because she’s in the Euro, there’s much less Ireland can do about it.
Currency realignments are not really an option – meaning that the impact on output and investment is likely to be much more sharply felt than it might otherwise be.  She has to put up with the interest rates French and German bankers impose on her.

Thank goodness the U.K. isn’t in the Euro.  If we’d been locked into the Euro since 2000, the impact of this recession would be even worse….

Kind regards


 
Jason O
Aug 3, 2009 at 3:45 pm

David, pre-Euro/EMS membership (1979) our interest rates were decided by the Bank of England, so the idea that we can have control over our interest rates is just nonsense for a small country. We would have to have higher interest rates than we have now, as Britain has, to keep the currency stable. Secondly, the economic crisis is not to do solely with the Euro being strong. Don’t forget, as a manufacturing nation, Ireland imports a lot of raw materials, and these are now cheaper. To be honest, the idea that all your economic woes can be solved by devaluation is a bit too Harold Wilson Old Labour for my liking. A country has to actually be competitive, not engage in economic three card tricks.

Admittedly, the situation in Britain is different. Britain is, by European standards, a large economy and can easily have its own currency, and does not necessarily need Euro membership. Secondly, the idea that Eurozone interest rates would be set solely by France and Germany without recourse to Britain (If Britain was in the Euro) is, well, lacking self confidence.


 

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