Brendan O’Neill Brendan O’Neill

Ireland, the EU is playing you like a fiddle

The EU has no shame. It is a completely shame-free zone. How else do we explain the grotesque spectacle of EC President Donald Tusk cosying up to Ireland this weekend, and claiming to respect Irish sovereignty, as if the past 15 years of Brussels treating Ireland as a colonial plaything had never happened? As if the EU hadn’t time and again overridden the Irish people’s democratic wishes? As if the EU didn’t just a few years ago send financial experts to run the Irish economy above the heads of the apparently dim Irish demos? Tusk claiming to be a friend of the Irish takes EU chutzpah to dizzying new heights.

EU officials were all over Ireland at the weekend. Tusk decreed that Ireland would have the final say on the Brexit deal. And if the deal hardens the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, then the Republic can choose to scupper it. ‘The key to the UK’s future lies, in some ways, in Dublin,’ said Tusk. Plucky little Ireland and the monolithic EU are as one, he said: ‘The Irish request is the EU request.’

Today Tusk tweeted ‘Tell me why I like Mondays!’ — cringe — after apparently having an encouraging phone call with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about Brexit and Ireland — which will be bad news for Brexiteers. All over Twitter EU officials have been fawning over the Irish. Guy Verhofstadt, Brexit negotiator for the EU Parliament, tweeted ‘Ireland decides’, with the hashtag: #IamIrish.

As an Irish citizen currently mortified beyond description by the the weaponisation of Ireland’s border concerns against Brits’ democratic vote for Brexit, I have only one thing to say to this EU love for Paddies: pass me the sickbag. The EU respects Ireland’s borders and national integrity like a shark respects a seal.

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