Tuesday 6 December 2016

Kevin Myers: We will always be clinging to someone else's coattails

Published 05/01/2012 | 17:00

It's hard to imagine a better example of a winning argument than that of the Eurosceptics such as Anthony Coughlan and Mary Ellen Synon who for years were maintaining, through closely marshalled economic facts, the fundamental flaws of the Greater Europe vision.

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The eurozone is now on life-support; gangrene is rotting its extremities; toes go black and stink. Yet the debate -- if such an energetic word may be used about Leinster House: the Dail drums or the doldrums? -- is still largely defined by simple nationalistic imagery, such as that used recently by Lucinda Creighton. "We do not want to somehow revert to clinging on to the coattails of the United Kingdom in terms of how we deal with international and European affairs. That would be a regressive step which would be hugely damaging to our economy and to our national interest."

Well, we're always going to be on someone's coattails. Small nations usually are. I should have thought we have tested the European experiment to the point of ruin, though perhaps the message has not still not sunk home to our political classes, who clearly still do not understand the scale of Armageddon consuming our domestic economy. This is even before the euro slides even deeper into the gaping abyss. Only an act of ideological faith, rather than clinical assessment of economic and geographical realities, would lead anyone at the moment to urge closer integration with Europe.

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