Today, in his speech in Dáil Éireann, Deputy Broughan called for significant reform of European Union (EU) institutions following the shock result of the UK referendum to leave the EU. Deputy Broughan hoped for, and expected, the Remain side to win the referendum but by a small margin. He had hoped that this would serve as a wake-up call to EU governing bodies leading to reform. Now that a ‘divorce’ is certain, Deputy Broughan is urging all sides to proceed cautiously to ensure the best outcome for all involved while also introducing serious changes required to address the accountability and transparency issues with EU institutions.
The impact of Brexit on Ireland (Republic and the North) is of course by far the most profound of any of the remaining 27 EU countries. Deputy Broughan highlighted the imperative need to insist that the Common Travel Area will continue and that no offensive border will be resurrected in our country. He stated that the massive strides we have made towards the peaceful reunification of the Irish people cannot be endangered in any way and that we must liaise closely with the Northern Executive and Assembly to ensure that the benefits of the single market continue for our entire nation.
In his speech today and indeed many times in Dáil Éireann, Deputy Broughan questioned the fitness of Jean Claude Juncker to be the head of the EU commission given the systematic system of tax evasion revealed by the Lux Leaks scandal. The Commission, Parliament and Council of Ministers needs major reform if the EU is to reach down and be visible and accountable to the people of areas like Yorkshire and the English midlands who felt they could not remain in the EU governed by unaccountable London and Brussels elites. Deputy Broughan stated that he agreed with former Taoiseach John Bruton, e.g that the head of the Commission should be elected and called for all the commissioners to be elected by their nations.
Deputy Broughan says “This is a very delicate time for Ireland and our economy. As we have begun to emerge from recession we must be cognisant that negotiations between the UK and the EU pose the single greatest threat to our economy in modern times. Our massive food and agricultural trade with the UK cannot also be endangered by the kind of foolish diktats we have heard from Brussels in the past 48 hours. While the negotiation between Britain and the EU may be long and complex, it would suit us best by far if the UK remains part of the Single Market whether a new British government opts for a Norwegian, Swiss or Canadian style relationship with the EU. In any event we cannot allow the Common Travel Area or our massive food exports to be damaged in any renegotiation of Britain’s status with the EU.”