TV3’s Tonight with Vincent Browne last night; Independent TD Catherine Connolly
Last night, Tonight with Vincent Browne’s panel discussed the fallout of Brexit.
The panel included Sinn Féin vice president and Dublin Central TD, Mary Lou McDonald; retired Senior Lecturer Emeritus in Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin, Anthony Coughlan, Fine Gael TD for Dublin South East, Eoghan Murphy; and Independent TD for Galway West and barrister, Catherine Connolly.
During the debate, this is what Ms Connolly said:
“I thought I’d reached an age where I wasn’t shocked. But to see Peter Sutherland saying that, ‘we must find a way to rerun this referendum’ or to see Tony Blair come out saying, ‘it has to be rerun’ actually has shocked me. I thought I was beyond shocked.
That’s number one.
Number two, like Anthony [Coughlan]. I didn’t think this Brexit was going to win, certainly after the murder of Jo Cox – I didn’t think. So I woke up to the result on Friday morning.”
“I cannot believe what the establishment have done prior to Brexit, during Brexit and after Brexit.
I’m absolutely full of admiration for the English people who have stood up to a terrible bullying campaign. I would have no truck with anti-racism [sic], nor the famous poster with refugees, I abhor it and I appall it.
But to judge the 17 million people who voted for Brexit in that manner does the person who says that no service and does the people no service.”
They stood up and said ‘We see the EU for what it is’ or, at least, that’s what I’m taking out of it. Is it the start of a new dawn? I do not think so.
But I think it’s the first step in exposing the EU.
I thought it was exposed when we were forced to rerun the Nice Treaty. I thought it was exposed when we were forced to rerun the Lisbon Treaty. I thought it was exposed during the financial crisis but, unfortunately, the establishment, the politicians that were in power, plus the media, by and large, helped to stop that exposure.”
“I think it’s exposed again now and I think it’s open for us to grab that opportunity and not let the Right have the narrative or tell the story. It’s up to us to grasp it.
How could you possibly say that the EU is good, as it stands when we have a country where we have to get permission to build homes for our people – that came out recently the committee, that we have to get permission to fiddle with the fiscal treaty to get money, how can we possibly say that this EU is a social EU that allows 10,000 minors, unaccompanied minors go missing in Europe and we haven’t had one single urgent debate at EU level in relation to that.
On top of that, we have the Lisbon Treaty and I’m all for a social Europe, I’m all for Europe. However, the Lisbon Treaty, which I canvassed against and I canvassed against it after reading it in detail.
I would hope that there was scope in that Treaty to bring out social Europe but I’m afraid the emphasis is on the militarisation of Europe, page after page, and we made this point at the time. It’s in relation to the neoliberal agenda page after page, in relation to freeing up the markets.
There are good, there are good articles in it like the one I quoted in the Dáil that all democratic decisions should be made as near as possible to the citizen. That’s the dream. The reality is we have taken power repeatedly from local politicians, just as one example, so I would love if someone took this [the Lisbon Treaty] away, that was able to study it better than me and show us the way forward to bring out the social Europe.”
“But I think it’s dominated by clauses that have a neoliberal agenda and dominated by the militarisation of Europe.
Watch in full here (go to 27.05)