‘Win-win’ bid for Ire­land to re­join the Com­mon­wealth af­ter Brexit

Daily Express - - NEWS -

IRE­LAND should ask to re­join the Com­mon­wealth, ac­cord­ing to a lead­ing Dublin politi­cian.

Fine Gael sen­a­tor Frank Feighan high­lighted the eco­nomic and trade ben­e­fits of join­ing Brexit Bri­tain and the ex­ist­ing 52 mem­ber coun­tries, with a com­bined pop­u­la­tion of 2.3 bil­lion.

He says the move, which would in­volve closer ties with the UK, would be a log­i­cal step for­ward af­ter Brexit. Ire­land is a mem­ber of the EU and uses the euro as its cur­rency.

There have been con­cerns about how the bor­der with North­ern Ire­land will be po­liced when Bri­tain is no longer an EU mem­ber.

The Com­mon­wealth, whose head is the Queen, is made up of for­mer colonies of the Bri­tish Em­pire. Ire­land was a mem­ber but left in 1949. Mr Feighan, from County Roscom­mon, said: “We have to look at ways of im­prov­ing our re­la­tion­ship, par­tic­u­larly af­ter Brexit. We have to ex­tend the hand of friend­ship to our near neigh­bours.”

He added: “Among the Com­mon­wealth’s many no­ble ob­jec­tives is the pro­mo­tion of democ­racy, rule of law, hu­man rights, good gov­er­nance and so­cial and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment.

“Yes, there will be de­trac­tors from ob­vi­ous quar­ters about the no­tion of re­join­ing the Com­mon­wealth, but would such a move not fit per­fectly with this new era of po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious tol­er­ance on our is­lands?”

The sen­a­tor was also keen on the sport­ing im­pli­ca­tions, say­ing: “If Ire­land did re­join the Com­mon­wealth, could we not then see the real pos­si­bil­ity of an All-Ire­land team com­pet­ing in the Com­mon­wealth Games? Would we not all wel­come the con­cept of Ire­land as one host­ing the Com­mon­wealth Games, an event which would be of huge ben­e­fit to our coun­try? Such pos­si­bil­i­ties could even­tu­ally pave the way for the for­ma­tion of an All-Ire­land soc­cer team.”

Mr Feighan’s cam­paign was warmly re­ceived last night by the Royal Com­mon­wealth So­ci­ety.

Its di­rec­tor, Michael Lake, said: “We would to­tally wel­come this. We have been work­ing with Ire­land for 18 months. There is a great deal of good­will in Ire­land for the UK.

“Ide­ally, Ire­land would join the Com­mon­wealth but it’s likely to be a long, gen­tle process with maybe some sort of as­so­ciate mem­ber­ship.”

Frank Feighan... ‘friend­ship’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.