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“Ireland and the EU Post Brexit”…Important new book by former Irish diplomat Dr Ray Bassett

This 300-page work by Ireland’s former Ambassador to Canada takes a critical look at Ireland’s negotiating tactics on Brexit. It discusses
Ireland’s relations with the Europe since we joined the then EEC in
1973 and considers the policy choices that lie before us in the next few years as a real Brexit is now happening and the North is leaving the EU along with the rest of the UK.

Read an extract here.

I think that it is in the interest of every patriotic, nationally-minded and progressive person to do what they can to draw attention to this important work and to urge people to buy it, preferably direct from the Distributors, as that is the easiest and speediest way of getting it, paying by credit card online at £12.50 a copy, plus postage. It should retail in the local bookshops here at €15 in due
course, but please do what you can to generate interest in and encourage sales of this book.

Dr Bassett’s revealing book is now available from YPS Publishing at www.yps-publishing.co.uk Its ISBN number is 978-1-8380397-0-7 if one is ordering it through bookshops.

Video: Dr Ray Bassett on the Irish Backstop, 2019

CHAPTER  HEADINGS

1. Introduction: The Last Refuge of Scoundrels
2. The Irish Bailout
3. The British Irish Relationship Post-Brexit
4. Northern Ireland and the Peace Process
5. History of the Irish State’s Attitude to European Integration
6. Ireland’s Changing Position in the EU
7. Ireland’s Business Model and Irexit
8. Ireland and the Euro
9. The Democratic Deficit
10. Ireland and Ever-Closer Union
11. The EU Propaganda Machine in Ireland
12. The Anglophone World and Ireland’s Diaspora
13. Alternative Policy Options Open to the Irish Government
14. Conclusion
15. Epilogue
Annexes 1-3
Bibliography
Name Index

ENDORSEMENTS ON THE BOOK’S BACK COVER

In the parlance of the Anglo-Irish desk at the Department of Foreign
Affairs an Ambassadorship is described as the Red Hat and is regarded as one of the highest offices available. I was informed by a Taoiseach that Ray Bassett had turned down several offers of the Red Hat because he wanted to stick with the Northern situation. He was also one of the key figures in the brilliant Irish diplomatic team that did so much to bring about the Good Friday Agreement; only after it concluded did he accept the Ambassadorship to Canada. Bassett then can be taken as a man with insights into the higher reaches of Irish Government policy.

One may not agree with the conclusions of his vision but one is
inevitably reminded of Voltaire’s dictum that although one disagreed
with someone’s opinion one should defend his right to hold it to the
death. Provocative and stimulating are two words that occur when assessing Ray Bassett’s work and one should read this book to find out why.

– TIM PAT COOGAN is Ireland’s best-known historical writer

 

A distinguished former diplomat, who cares deeply about his country, Bassett has been widely criticised by the Irish Establishment for daring to air uncomfortable truths about Dublin’s response to the UK’s Brexit vote. This caused him personal distress. Yet he has continued regardless, speaking out against ”rising Anglophobia” in Ireland, while imploring politicians on both sides of the Irish Sea to get beyond the  poor and short-term decision making that has characterised our collective history.  For that he deserves deep gratitude and respect  – not just in the Republic of Ireland but among citizens of its nearest neighbour too.

 

– LIAM HALLIGAN, economist, author, broadcaster and award-winning British journalist

Bassett’s ‘Ireland and the EU Post-Brexit’ fills a remarkable gap in
the literature on Ireland, its relationship with both the European Union and Great Britain and – not least – the implications of Brexit.
This book should be required reading for any intellectually honest and
informed discussion of future relationships, consequential policy
alternatives, and the possibilities surrounding conflict and peace in
the region and on the continent.

–     DR BONNIE WEIR, Lecturer in Political Science, Yale University

Here’s a fact worth repeating ad infinitum: In this country the bank
bailout hit us at 25% of our GDP; Germany 1.5%.  Yet our media and political Establishment have never really hit a discordant note whilst signing the praises of Brussels. Is there some sort of collective myopia or amnesia at work here?  Bassett seems to have been absent from that particular singing session. Thank God!

–      PAT McART, author and former managing editor of the “Derry Journal”


Letters’ page discussion, Irish News

Monday 24 August :

It is ludicrous of Seán McCann to call Ray Bassett a “de facto unionist” and “technically Irish” (August 18)  because he does not like the content of his recently published book “Ireland and the EU Post Brexit“.

In truth, it is Mr McCann who is the unionist as he believes Ireland should  be part of the European Union and be controlled from Brussels via Berlin and Frankfurt.

Ray Bassett shows in his very readable and accessible book how control is maintained over many aspects of the Irish state from running of the economy to foreign policy and militarisation. Indeed, his chapter on
the Irish economic crisis and the negative role played by the EU is
perhaps the most lucid and concise writing I have read on the subject.

His chapter on the Good Friday Agreement is also truly insightful. Ray
Bassett knows what he is talking about as he was intimatelyinvolved in
the Northern peace process as a senior civil servant  in the Irish
Department of Foreign Affairs and was indeed the key liaison person
with the IRA and Loyalist leaders over that time – something Mr McCann
failed to mention.

This book also documents how the Dublin Establishment did everything
possible to frustrate Brexit in the three years followingthe 2016 UK
referendum. Instead Dublin should have acted as a mediator between
Brussels and London to ensure that Britain got the best Brexit deal
possible, for that is in Ireland’s interest almost as much as it is in
Britain’s. Now that Brexit is clearly happening since the Johnson
Government got its majority last December, this is surely the best
course for us to adopt.

The post-Brexit debacle reminded me of how the EU bureaucrats despise
democracy and refused to accept the Republic’s referendum decisions to
reject both the Nice and Lisbon treaties.  I make no apology for being
anti-EU and having campaigned in the six counties for Brexit.

Does that make me a  unionist? I am simply adhering to the 1916
Proclamation: “We declare the right of the people of Ireland to the
ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies,
to be sovereign and indefeasible.” If you aspire to that then you have
to be opposed to the EU Empire.

Monday 14 September

Mr Sean MacCann ( September 4) writes that the Nation State is out-of-date, national sovereignty is a delusion and national parliaments are powerless these days because economies have become “supranational”. He thereby dismisses the possibility of democracy, because democracy  – where people  vote for representatives who make the laws and rules that govern them – is only possible at the level of the national community and the nation state. He shows himself thereby to be an apologist for Imperialism and
transnational big business, which want to be free from the controls
that can only be imposed by national states in the interest of the people and whose political instrument in our part of the world is the European Union.

How is Mr MacCann’s dismissal of the relevance of state sovereignty and national democracy reconcilable with the fact that the number of states in the world  – most of them national, some multinational  – has gone from some 60 in 1945 to nearly 200 today?

And many more new States will come into being as our century unfolds,
as new peoples around the world assert their right to national
self-determination and to decide their relations with other nations.

He writes that modern “economies are supranational”. But it is surely
quite mistaken to imply that national economies no longer exist and
that national  currencies, national laws, national parliaments and
national governments are no longer important in ensuring that those
economies and societies are run in the interests of their respective
peoples.

Internationalism implies cooperation between sovereign nation states,
in which people decide democratically the character and extent of that cooperation.

The supranationalism which Mr MacCann extols is one where national states are simply puppets of imperial powers.

There is a titanic struggle going on in today’s world between defenders of national independence and the nation state and the supranationalists who want to hollow out the nation state in the interests of transnational big business and high finance.

It is clear from what he writes that Mr MacCann, by  identifying with EU unionism, has chosen the anti-democratic  and reactionary side in this contest.  Hoping for a knee-jerk reaction he disingenuously argues that being anti-EU equates with being pro-British imperialism.

In contrast, Ray Bassett’s book “Ireland and the EU Post Brexit” reveals the true nature of the EU.

It leaves one in no doubt that James Connolly’s slogan “We serve neither King nor Kaiser but Ireland” is as relevant today as it was a century ago.

Niall Farrell
Oranmore, Co Galway

 

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