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EU: Ireland is caught between Brexiteers and Brussels - by Joe McCarth

In a letter to the Guardian Joe McCarthy writes "Rafael Behr’s brilliant evisceration of the UK government’s shambolic handling of Brexit makes for depressing reading from the Dublin side of the Irish Sea (As Tories slug it out, does anyone care about Ireland?, 15 November). However, the suspicion remains here that the problem is not just with London but with Brussels too.

Brexit was initially met with anger by most Irish people but the upset receded as everyday life got in the way. Now it is back, and the island of Ireland is staring down the barrel of a hard border. These are glum and worrying times. Ireland is caught between undoubtedly ignorant rightwing Eurosceptic British politicians and the mammoth Brussels bureaucracy.

Europe will let us down if it feels it is absolutely necessary to do so for its own prosperity and survival. In 2011, the European Central Bank president Jean-Claude Trichet warned the Irish finance minister Michael Noonan that a “bomb would go off” in Dublin if Ireland dared to burn bondholders.

 The Irish people have been solely carrying the massive debt burden of our banking collapse ever since – including, scandalously, the huge losses of international speculative investors.

When push comes to shove, will Ireland be a sacrificial lamb for Brussels in the Brexit negotiations as it was during the banking crisis in 2011? Quite possibly yes. The only difference this time, it seems, is that we might be sacrificed primarily for long-term political, rather than financial, stability in the wider European Union “family”."

Read more: Ireland is caught between Brexiteers and Brussels | Letters | World news | The Guardian

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