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What would Ireland look like if we didn't join the EU?

  • 11-10-2021 9:02pm
    Posts: 0 ✭✭ [Deleted User]

    I'm picturing scenes from "Angela's Ashes";

    People complain about cultural diversification and yes, when it's improperly managed (or ill-resourced), ees probleem.

    But adapting to this is the basis for societal evolution (of course no one claimed this was easy nor straight forward).

    Opening our doors to alternate cultures has been the best thing this country has done since the dark ages (the remnants of which I can recall being a kid), falling off my bike about 10% of the time I'd cycle down to my mates house, lose half a pound of flesh on the pot-holed, pebble stoned, non-tarmac road.

    Then we joined the EU, had the infrastructure boom.

    I recall a proper road was laid between my folks house and the small adjacent urban center.

    It was so smooth, I'd never experienced anything like it before in my life, it felt divine - like a magic carpet ride, compared to the muck track it replaced.

    We've gone from strength to strength ever since, the country we live in now.... millennials just don't know how it was for younger generations (and I still classify myself as a young generator, being a 90's kid).

    Technology and the internet has clearly paved the way for globalization, it's like humanities nervous system in a way, a nervous system to the super organism.

    Has the fundamental basis of historical Irish culture and thought process actually changed though, in spite of our diversification?

    If we withdrew from the EU and had a non-native exodus, would it be back to square one?



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,227 ✭✭✭ The J Stands for Jay

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,760 ✭✭✭ dudley72

    Without the EU we would of never had a Celtic Tiger. Some might complain about the Celtic Tiger but just look at what came before it.

    Even today Ireland is massively improved compared to what it was pre-Tiger. None of that would be possible without the EU.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 648 ✭✭✭ Fred Cryton

    The EU and euro are great and all but further integration would not be in Irelands interest IMO. It would be fiscal integration, ie the EU would raise taxes directly just like the US Federal government. We in Ireland would be a massive net contributor to that and would be on the hook for Greek, Spanish and Italian public debt.

    This far and no further i say.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,046 ✭✭✭ recode the site

    Anyone born in the 60s has some idea of what Ireland might look like if not in the EU. Having said that, in my early teen years Minister Justin Keating was looking at negotiating a major National interest in Norway’s oil company Statoil. There’s not much poverty in Norway, and in theory we could have had a slice of that.

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  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Freedom of movement means those young families can go off and buy a house in a different country, maybe a warmer, sunnier one 😁

  • Registered Users Posts: 20,329 ✭✭✭✭ Podge_irl

    Exactly what role do you envision Ireland would have played in this globalised world outside of the EU?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,715 ✭✭✭ Hamachi

    Shows how little understanding you have of the practicalities of being a young family.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,842 ✭✭✭ fvp4

    Most of that is right but there are no jobs that Irish people don't do. Unless pay has gotten so low that they didn't bother. The EU is largely good, but it needs to be a much more cohesive force on defense and less involved on immigration, leaving that to the nations.

  • Registered Users Posts: 14,756 ✭✭✭✭ gormdubhgorm

    Not to mention the Market and contacts the EU opened up to Ireland. A small country. When you look at the difficulty the British are having negotiating other trade deals to compensate for no EU it really stands out. And the UK is a much larger country.

    It does not bear thinking about how a small country like Ireland would fare on the outskirts of Europe geographically and outside the EU. It’s negotiating power would have been severely weakened and basically would only have the British to prop Ireland up.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,597 ✭✭✭ tdf7187

    If we hadn't joined the EU, we would look like a combination of Roscommon, Jersey and Lithuania. No offense to the people from any of those places, obviously.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus

    Except, of course, without EU membership (or similar) Ireland would be a much poorer country, so that might militate against young families affording their own homes.

    Ireland was poor in the 60s due to our insular economic policy. Joining the EU and participating in the single market is the major part of the ways in which we reversed and then overcame the insularity of our economic policy. The notion of Ireland having customs and regulatory barriers with its immediate neighbours and yet not having an insular economic policy is a contradictory one.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,051 ✭✭✭ tinytobe

    EU membership also caused a high level of security for foreign investors in the country. It basically paved the way for various IT companies from the US coming into Ireland.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus

    Yeah. To be honest, I'm a little puzzled at the notion of Ireland pursuing an open, progressive, pro-trading, non-insular economic strategy and yet eschewing EU/SM membership, which here in the real world is the central plank of that strategy. I'm looking around for an example of another country in Europe doing this, but I'm not seeing one.

  • Registered Users Posts: 468 ✭✭ Shao Kahn

    Interesting the way many people just simply ignore countries like Norway or Switzerland, or make up BS excuses why they're successful outside the EU. Basically why they are special unique cases, and don't warrant consideration.

    The reality is that, it's perfectly possible to be successful both inside AND outside the European Union. There are many examples - just as there are many examples of countries who are doing rubbish inside the EU.

    The notion that Ireland NEEDS the European Union in order to be successful and prosperous, is false and displays a certain degree of ignorance (deliberate or otherwise) on the part of those who push this narrative.

    It also displays a distinct lack of self confidence within many of our citizens, with regard to our ability to make our own decisions as a nation and back ourselves to be successful in the world. I've been to countries like Norway and Switzerland, and they really don't seem to suffer from this paralyzing lack of courage. That's not to say they always make the correct decisions, of course, but they do seem to back themselves to succeed.

    I think many of our citizens love the EU, more because of a fear of missing out (FOMO), rather than any great ideological stance. Like a comfort blanket, for someone who is afraid of the dark. But the EU does not guarantee any nation safety security or prosperity - it's all just a bit of an illusion.

    It really depends who is making the decisions at the top table, and how intelligent those decisions are. Badly thought out ideas will (and have) messed up many nations. It doesn't matter whether that's inside or outside the European Union.

    "Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It's perfect when it arrives, and it puts itself into our hands. It hopes we've learned something from yesterday." (John Wayne)

  • Registered Users Posts: 22,536 ✭✭✭✭ Dyr

    We'd have been in a bad way without access to the common market which is completely different to the shitshow that is the EU

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,715 ✭✭✭ Hamachi

    Yes; really.

    You think it's trivial to up sticks to a "warmer, sunnier" country with young children? There's a myriad of considerations like employment, local language ability, education, relationships with grandparents, aunts / uncles, cousins. Not to mention that most young families are pretty happy here in Ireland, despite grappling with rapidly rising housing costs.

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,323 ✭✭✭✭ Peregrinus

    Yes, but even countries like Norway and Switzerland that aren't members of the EU nevertheless acheive their success through their close relationship with the EU - they "need the EU to be successful", in Kermit's words. Without the EU there is no Single Market, and without the Single Market countries like Norway and Switzerland are not pursuing the policies which they have in fact pursued with such success.

    Like I said, I'm struggling to image a successful, non-insular economic policy for Ireland or any European country which doesn't involve either membership of, or a very close connection with, the EU. And nobody who claims that such a thing is possible is pointing to any real-world examples, or even outlining a hypothetical way in which it might be done.

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Lots of people wish to do it, it's not such an amazing thought!

    Anyway, let's not go down the usual route of blaming immigrants for our housing crisis eh?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,715 ✭✭✭ Hamachi

    You can point to data to quantify "lots"? Or are you talking through your hole about a life, of which you have at best, the most superficial understanding?

    Let's also not go down the well trodden path of you bleating about racism to shut down discussions, eh?