On Wednesday (15 Feb) Newstalk reported that the Taoiseach will announce a 10 year plan in response to Brexit here. I expected to read about a plan that would talk about supporting the exploration of new markets for Irish companies selling currently into the UK; a plan for getting tourists from elsewhere to visit Ireland to make up for the short fall of tourists from the UK and a plan to deepen our relationships with the other EU countries (#WhoNeedsTheUKAnyway).
But I certainly didn’t expect to read about a plan that will “focus on areas such as investments in roads, public transport, and energy.” Something MAJOR went wrong here! One of us, either Enda Kenny or myself, has NO clue what “Brexit” means?!
My understanding is that “Brexit” means that once it happens, one of 27 countries, Britain, which is made up of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, will leave the EU. That country won’t pay any more money into the EU, but will also not get any money from the EU anymore. All contracts that currently regulate relationships with other countries in the EU will stop being valid for the exiting country and everything has to be arranged new with this country. Ireland does a lot of business with Britain, so there will be some impact, but the ONLY area Brexit will impact Ireland is in matters that have to do with borders and markets as fas as we currently know.
How does have focus on “investments in roads, public transport (!!!!!) and energy” have anything to do with a Brexit? Enda Kenny is quoted saying “That new Plan will show how we will invest in roads, in public transport, in energy, in water, in schools, in higher education and in hospitals and health facilities. It will include detailed, funded plans to complete the national road network, including links between Dublin and Derry and Donegal, and to accelerate delivery of critical public transport infrastructure.
“It will include substantial investment in the ports and airports that Ireland will need as a successful, global trading nation. And it will support the achievement of our international climate change obligations and our national objectives for sustainable development and environmental protection.”
I accept that streets to Derry (in Northern Ireland) could be affected by a Brexit, but how does Brexit affect public transport? Or education? Or hospitals? Or national objectives (the clue is in the word, Mr Kenny!!) for sustainable development and environmental protection?
Has Endy Kenny lost it completely? NOTHING of that plan will prepare Ireland better for a Brexit than doing nothing. Now having such a plan is a VERY good idea for a country and it is surprising that this was not considered anyway, but needed a Brexit as a trigger. Is it a matter of “…we only look after our own country if another country leaves the EU”?
Very very odd!