Irish ministers have dismissed a suggestion from a radio presenter that the best way to end the Brexit impasse is for an ‘Irexit’ which would see the country leave the EU to join the UK.
BBC Radio 4 Today presenter John Humphrys made the suggestion in an interview with Ireland’s Europe minister, Helen McEntee, who said the country had no plans to quit the EU.
Humphrys said: ‘There has to be an argument, doesn’t there, that says instead of Dublin telling this country that we have to stay in the single market etc within the customs union, why doesn’t Dublin, why doesn’t the Republic of Ireland, leave the EU and throw in their lot with this country?’
McEntee pointed to polling which showed Ireland almost unanimously wanted to remain in the EU as evidence his suggestion was not plausible.
She said: ‘To suggest that we should leave? 92% of Irish people last year said they wanted Ireland to remain part of the European Union and in fact since Brexit that figure has gotten only bigger.’
Labour MP Ben Bradshaw tweeted that he was ‘gobsmacked’ to hear John Humphrys ‘suggest to an amazingly calm Irish politician that the solution to #Brexitshambles is for Ireland to leave the EU and rejoin the U.K! Such woeful ignorance of history and of modern day Ireland.’
MEP Molly Scott Cato tweeted: ‘To hear Humphrys suggest to the Irish Europe Minister that Ireland should leave the EU to help us solve our Brexit shitshow was a shameful demonstration of arrogance and showed disrespectful disregard for our mutual history.’
Another Twitter user wrote: ‘What a stupid and insulting idea. Can’t think why they’d turn down the chance of medicine shortages and a smashed economy knowing they’d be helping our WWII obsessed clowns create Empire 2.0.’