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‘Time for Irexit’ Ireland should quit EU to avoid mega hike in cash contributions says MEP

IRELAND should follow Britain out of the European Union or risk facing an enormous hike in the yearly cash contribution it has to send to Brussels, a British MEP said today.


Stuart Agnew, who is Ukip’s agriculture spokesman, said Dublin will have to part with more and more taxpayers’ money to help the EU fill the budget blackhole caused by Brexit.He added that the country, which has a growing economy and is English speaking, will also become an increasingly popular destination for EU migration if the UK puts an end to free movement.Mr Agnew made the comments after shock charts produced by the EU Parliament showed that Ireland faces having to either pay more or receive less from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after Brexit.The EU enjoys a higher approval rating in Ireland than any other country, with a poll this summer revealing that a massive 88 per cent of people want the country to stay in the bloc.

Ukip MEP Stuart AgnewGETTY

Ukip MEP Stuart Agnew

According to European Commission figures, the country’s net gain from EU budgets has been a massive 39.5 billion since it joined the project with an “antiquated” farming economy in 1976.
Britain, which signed up to the club three years earlier, has conversely contributed around half a trillion pounds during the period of its membership, with budget payments set to stop after Brexit.Of that the UK makes a gross contribution of around £6 billion a year to the controversial CAP policy, which hands out subsidies based on scale of land ownership, half of which it receives back in grants.EU officials have therefore predicted that the bloc faces a £3 billion funding gap in farming once Britain quits, meaning the remaining 27 will have to bite the bullet and either pay more or receive less.

The logical solution is for Ireland to follow us out of the EU

Ukip MEP Stuart Agnew

Mr Agnew told ““Brexit is causing consternation because the freebie £3billion will soon dry up. A choice then has to be made. Either the EU27 farmers receive smaller payments, or the Member States must increase their own contributions to cover this shortfall.“The really interesting case is Ireland. For many years in the early days they were ‘the poor man of Europe’, major net recipients until the accession of the Eastern bloc countries.“Ireland is now occasionally a net contributor. With Brexit they will move up the league table to become consistent net contributors.“Furthermore their major trading partner, the UK, will not be part of the single market and Ireland will start to become an increasingly popular destination for EU migrants. The logical solution is for Ireland to follow us out of the EU.”

He revealed: “I put this argument to a well-attended meeting of Irish farmers in Donegal last year, very much tongue in cheek. To my astonishment there were nods of agreement.”Ireland became a net contributor to the EU’s budget for the first time ever in 2013, by a slender £47 million, but that contribution leapt a year later to a surplus of £156 million.Before last year’s vote to leave, leading Irish MEP Brian Hayes, from Fine Gael, warned that “theoretically it’s possible that Ireland would have to put its hands into its pockets to pay more” after Brexit.The CAP, which amounts for an astonishing 40 per cent of the entire EU budget, has had a controversial existence with come cash going to landed aristocracy and others to fund bull fighting farms in Spain.

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