Saturday 10 December 2016

Bruce Arnold: Any new party would have to be Eurosceptic to gain real support

Published 31/12/2012 | 17:00

The Government, from tomorrow, faces the substantial challenge of assuming the presidency of Europe for a six-month period. It's a challenge that will weigh heavily on its formal duties and impinge significantly on other domestic objectives, including new laws to deal with abortion.

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There is no real benefit in the task. Power has been taken from the presidency by the unelected bureaucrats and the major powers, leaving what is only a titular event. Changed times are emphasised by the fact that we celebrate better past times tomorrow – the 40th anniversary of Ireland joining Europe.

We engage with a Europe that evokes increasingly mixed feelings. Our lives are governed by it, yet democratic control of it is extremely limited. It is our turn for a job uncharged with resolving central issues. Nevertheless, if the Taoiseach comes out at the end of the six-month period with some resolution of our biggest financial burden it will be no mean achievement.

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