It is a sad day for Ireland and Europe that the majority of our closest neighbours voted to leave the Eurozone. However the result is not all that surprising. Many ordinary people in Ireland and other Eurozone countries are dissatisfied with how the European Union has acted in recent years particularly in relation to Greece, the banking crises, the economic crises and the refugee crises. Europe’s bureaucracy is perceived by too many as bloated and out of touch with ordinary people’s lives.
David Cameron made the right decision this morning when he acknowledged the will of the British people. We must all respect the will of the British people. It reflects poorly on all European Union leaders that the British people were not convinced that peace and integration is preferable to division and extreme nationalism like that which devastated Europe little over 70 years ago.
Ireland and Europe must not ignore this “wake-up call”. Ireland must use its place in Europe to drive the European Union to take action to ensure that this is not the beginning of the end. European Union leaders must use this result to begin a European wide initiative to re-connect with its citizens and make the European Union stronger and more effective for the European citizens it is supposed to serve.