EU panic as surprise member teases exit from bloc – ‘Anti-EU bid growing since Brexit’
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The Think Tank The Bruges Group’s Dr Niall McCrae argued that anti-EU sentiment in growing among member states. During an interview with Express.co.uk, Dr McCrae claimed that Ireland may be a country that looks to leave the bloc. He noted that the current eurosceptic movement in Ireland is small but this will grow significantly after the UK officially cuts ties with the EU at the end of the Brexit transition period.
He added frustration will grow in Ireland as the country will have to pay significantly into the union to help countries recover from coronavirus.
Dr McCrae said: “This isn’t really something being considered at the moment.
“This is a member state that isn’t being considered as likely to want to leave the EU, that is Ireland.
“Opinion polls in Ireland have consistently shown that 80 percent of people support staying in the EU.
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“It is a very small eurosceptic movement but it is beginning to grow.
“I think it will grow much quicker with Brexit.”
Dr McCrae noted that Brexit may significantly contribute to growing Euroscepticism in Ireland as well as other countries around Europe.
He continued: “There is lots of old animosities between the Irish and the British.
“The EU seems to offer the Irish people a way of having an identity that allows them to think beyond the old strong, geographical and historical links with Britain.
“This has allowed them to feel that they are more part of the wider world.
“In many ways, Ireland has done extremely well in the EU over the years but that is all about to change.”
Dr McCrae highlighted the key issue that Brexit presents for the EU and why this could lead to more member states opting out.
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He added: “The EU is going to lose one of its biggest contributors, I believe its second-biggest contributor.
“Ireland is going to go from being a country that takes to a country that is forced to give.
“What is coming up is a big funding demand that is going to have to go into countries that need to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
“Ireland is going to find itself contributing to the recovery elsewhere in Europe.”
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