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Republic should butt out of our EU referendum

Published 04/02/2016

In recent weeks we have seen a number of Republic of Ireland politicians, including Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Gerry Adams, intrude into British politics. They've seen fit to involve themselves in the EU referendum. It is not the place for Irish politicians to involve themselves in UK matters.

Yes, a British exit could affect the Republic, but that is no justification to meddle in what is a matter for British citizens to decide; just as the effect of potential Scottish independence on the rest of the UK was no justification for English, Welsh or Ulster people to meddle in their referendum.

Not only is it meddling, it is hypocritical for foreign politicians to meddle in a political system and government while celebrating events that led to them becoming independent of the political system and government.

In 1916 the people of the south of Ireland had a say and a vote in British politics, but they violently gave it up to become the only country to secede from the UK. It is, therefore, wrong to come back a century later and involve themselves in the business of the UK because they feel it will impact on them.

If the Republic wants the UK to remain in the EU, then its place is at Britain's side in Brussels - not on the pro-EU campaign in Northern Ireland.

Irish politicians should give the people of Northern Ireland and Great Britain a reason to stay in the EU by fighting for a better deal at Brussels and the capitals of Europe - not by scaremongering and pressuring us over an open border.

SAM McKITTRICK

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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