22 May (Pringle website) Thomas Pringle TD is today calling for the establishment of a process to allow a Eurozone member state to voluntarily leave the Union, in a motion to be debated this evening in the Dáil.
The Independent TD for Donegal is also calling for the initiation of a wide ranging public debate through civil society on the future direction of the European Union, as part of his motion to be debated this evening and tomorrow.
“There is no doubt that there are big changes coming down the line in terms of our relationship with the Union and what it will mean for us as a nation, and indeed whether we will be a nation afterwards or not.
“The government is content to allow the debate in Europe to move on to treaty change and the development of a full banking union. Most European commentators and politicians are calling for closer and closer integration, despite the Taoiseach stating in the Dáil last June that we were not heading towards a federal Europe.
“Yet we see the President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso saying that a federal Europe will soon become a ‘reality’ and has insisted that the fiscal union will lead to an ‘intensified political union’ for all twenty-seven member states. And more recently French President François Hollande has called for a European Government to deal with the financial crisis with full powers to deal with all the issues involved in solving the crisis. So are we really to believe the Taoiseach even when he gives a categorical answer?
“There is an attitude amongst the European elite that we should not waste this crisis, that the crisis should be used to push on with European integration and the creation of a European Super State.
“I think it is appropriate at this time during our six month presidency of the European Union and the fortieth anniversary of our joining that we should evaluate where we are and where we are likely to go in the future and to go beyond the debate of how much Europe has been good for us, to discussing how flaws in the Eurozone have been detrimental from an Irish perspective.
“As has been observed by a prominent economist, ‘the drive for austerity was about using the crisis, not solving it’. What is needed here is a constructive debate based on what is best for Ireland and solving our financial crisis, and to move beyond pleasing those who don’t have our country’s best interests at heart,” stated Pringle.