Wednesday 1 March 2017

Ireland would not benefit from Noonan pushing our case too far... at least not yet

John Downing

John Downing

Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives at the emergency summit in Brussels yesterday. Photo: Reuters
Taoiseach Enda Kenny arrives at the emergency summit in Brussels yesterday. Photo: Reuters

Most good deals Ireland ever got during its 42 years of EU membership involved at least some coat-tailing of the larger member states' pursuit of their demands.

People who criticise that reality have a poor concept about where Ireland fits as less than 1pc of the EU population. Irish coat-tailing happened time and again in agriculture, as Ireland followed France for a sliverette of whatever Paris successfully got its farmers.

In the 1990s, a huge EU regional and social package was successfully fought for by the so-called "poor four" of Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland. When it came to minimising the impact of EU social laws, Ireland in dread of scaring off multinational investment, slipped in behind Britain.

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