Fianna Fáil TD and Spokesperson for European Affairs, Sean Haughey has said recent data compiled by the European Parliament shows Ireland’s firm commitment to its’ membership of the European Union.
The poll commissioned by the European Parliament this month reveals 90% of people in Ireland believe that their country’s decision to join the European Union has paid off. This is the highest percentage among all EU member states.
He said, “Since 1972, Ireland has been strongly benefitting from EU policy, legislation and funding. In countless ways, the project has transformed Ireland and provided opportunities that are hard to envisage possible without our membership.
“Prior to Ireland joining the then European Economic Community, 90% of Irish exports went to the United Kingdom. That now stands at less than 20%.
“What’s more, the European Commission estimates that Ireland’s net gain from EU budgets has amounted to almost €45 billion since 1976.
“Despite the uncertainty following the UK’s vote to leave the union, majorities in most countries feel that they have benefited from EU membership.
“Similar polls conducted over the past number of years showed that Irish people were keener on someday leaving the EU, yet this most recent result highlights a positive shift in attitude. In fact, all but 10% believe that Ireland’s rightful place is within the European Union.
“It is clear from the results of this poll and similar ones carried out by organisations such as the European Movement Ireland, that our people wholly reject Euroskepticism.
He concluded, “This statistic underscores Ireland’s commitment to the European project and the values that underpin it. Ireland is and will continue to be committed to full participation in the European Union.”