From top: Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Nigel Farage MEP, in Strasbourg last month; Tony Groves

Prediction is a mug’s game. So here I am, Mug Groves, ready to make a prediction.

While many have scoffed at the idea of Irexit, and pointed out the polls indicate that we are deeply Pro-European in Ireland, Rory Hearne correctly pointed out that it should be “possible to be Pro-Europe AND question fundamentally the current EU structures and processes”.

To do this isn’t to cede ground to the tiny, but vocal, ethno-nationalist bloc. To do this is essential for any further deepening of EU partnerships. A top down federal EU will not be foisted upon the populace. If it is to work, it must be delivered via bottom up, grassroots collaborations.

And so to my prediction.

We will have an Irexit. Not the Irexit of Farage, Waters and Cormac Lucey, but a purgatorial no-man’s-land Irexit.

As Brexit evolves it will become clearer to the wider EU that Ireland is a stone in the shoe that they wanted to use to kick the British up the arse.

Many already around the Brussels table don’t like our ‘beggar thy neighbour’ tax policy and many more don’t really care that we have the best football fans in the world.

But we won’t leave the EU and they cannot make us. We are in the club and even if we are belligerent drunks, they cannot throw us out. So they’ll use Brexit against us.

We cannot and must not countenance a hard border on the island of Ireland. I know MEP Phil ‘reduce it to a trickle’ – Hogan thinks that “border controls are inevitable”. But I’m predicting that he’s wrong.

Ireland will stay in the EU, but on roughly the same trade agreements that the UK eventually get. There, I’ve said it.

The EU knows that in the grand scheme of things that trade with the UK is economically vital. The markets will dictate that. Any (open to interpretation) deals done in Phase 1 of negotiations will be long forgotten when money enters the equation.

So the only way to achieve a real Brexit, while keeping the markets happy, is to make Ireland a sacrificial lamb. Ireland will have a simple decision to make: accept UK trade terms or start building a wall.

This is the only scenario that makes sense for the wider EU. And we want to be good European’s, don’t we?

Tony Groves is the co-host of the Echo Chamber Podcast and blogs at EchoChamberPod. You can Subscribe to the Echo Chamber Podcast by clicking here for iTunes or here For SoundCloud.

Earlier: Dr Rory Hearne: Who Dares Speak Its Name

21 thoughts on “I Predict A Irexit

  1. Owen C

    “Ireland will stay in the EU, but on roughly the same trade agreements that the UK eventually get….So the only way to achieve a real Brexit, while keeping the markets happy, is to make Ireland a sacrificial lamb. Ireland will have a simple decision to make: accept UK trade terms or start building a wall.”

    The fundamental ignorance on show here is astonishing. Its a regurgitation of every ridiculous “we demand our cake and to be able to eat it” line that has come out of the Tories over the last 18 months, only this time from the “Brexit means Ireland is fecked” spin patrol. What is it that people don’t get about the very blunt rules-based system which the EU operates under which makes all of these suggestions impossible? Why do nonsensical “special carve out deals are likely” keep getting put forward?

    1. Kim Cardassian

      The people spouting Irexit are the equivalent of the people who told the general public that buying Eircom shares would a great opportunity.

  2. Joe Small

    Groves has obviously not been listening to the Irish Government or the European Commission recently. This is very, very far from either of their thoughts on the matter and is a complete non-starter.
    There will be a border (and quite possibly a hard border) and it will be entirely the fault of the British for leaving the EU and the customs union. I’m baffled by the attempts to blame the European Union for this. Its like blaming the driver when someone throws themselves in front of a car.

  3. Pluto


    European Court of Justice

    Farming Subsidies

    American Multinational access to EU market from Ireland

    The Euro

    Fishing rights

    Irish beef, cheese, milk, mushrooms etc. sold to the EU

    Only a few of the reasons why we shouldn’t blow our own legs off and listen to Farage Tony.

  4. Gabby

    How many Irish people actually like the EU and its institutions? I know most citizens shrug and say that the EU is the only international show in town, but that is an emotion of resignation, not an emotion of love. I don’t notice any kind of pan-European patriotism that can match Irish patriotism on the level of feeling. Irish citizens are glad to travel abroad for business, to seek jobs and to enjoy sunshine holidays. It’s handy that the EU passport lets them do that, and just recently thousands flew to Paris and waved Irish flags happily at the Stade de France when Sexton kicked that magnificent drop goal into injury time. But that happiness was Irish happiness, not European happiness. I don’t think many Irish patriots are also EU patriots. We welcome the Italian, French, Spanish and other continental tourists every summer and hope they have a good time – but that doesn’t make us EU patriots.

  5. rotide

    Do rory and tony compare notes into the wee hours before their dads make them hang up the damn phone so he can get some work done?

  6. Truth in the News

    The only reason for the existence of the European Union is consolidate the grip of the Colonists
    over Europe after they lost all their overseas possessions, the British have come to terms with
    their fate and have decided that they are not going to absorb any more immigrants or accept rules
    made by others in which they have no democratic input or control
    We too will exit with many others, and the first to bolt will be Eastern Europe and we will follow,
    the next 10 years will tell a tale…..all Empires crumble….how come Switzerland and Norway have
    thrived without Brussels….and that we can’t:

  7. Not On Your Nelly

    I want the pound. I want Greggs. I want amazon fresh. I want cheaper Sky. I want the NHS. I want…

    But at what cost?

  8. Clampers Outside!

    If it’s “grass roots” movement you want, then will you listen to the people of the EU and get behind a campaign to slow the immigration coming from outside the EU?

    Doubt you would Tony, which makes me think you’re talking too much to others in that echo chamber.

    You get grass roots from the people of the EU, and they have spoken clearly and repeatedly on this issue.

    Will you campaign for more control of EU borders and controlled immigration which is a genuine grass roots concern of the people, and with EU wide support of the peopleto get something done… or will you not?

    1. ahjayzis

      Hiya pet x

      National governments control immigration from beyond the EU.

      It’s how Malta sells EU passports to Russians for 200k a pop.

      Hope that helps hun xxx

      1. Clampers Outside!

        Not really, I still dont know whether Rory is willing to back the people at grass roots level or not. I suspect the latter, which would make him a spoofer when he talks about grass roots. But thanks, I didnt know of this you speak of.

  9. Bull Duggan

    The Lisbon Treaty and handing over the running of our economy to the Troika is when Ireland sold its soul and dignity.We indicated then that this country would come to heel at the click of the EU’s fingers.We will do exactly as we are told when the Brexit negotiations conclude with a deal favourable to the EU and UK but not necessarily to us.


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