WITH less than five weeks to go to the ‘Brexit’ referendum in the UK on June 23rd as to whether Britain should stay in or leave the European Union, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has rowed in to the debate with a view to persuading Irish people living and working there to vote to remain by explaining to them the proportionately greater impact Britain leaving the EU would have on Ireland than other member-states. The Taoiseach and some of his ministers will be visiting Britain and North Ireland – where the Democratic Unionist Party led by First Minister Arlene Foster is campaigning to leave the EU – in the coming weeks to try to influence a remain vote.
Unlike US President Barack Obama, who recently visited the UK and told the people there they must remain in the EU, Mr Kenny stated that it is not for anybody to lecture the British people on how to vote, so he plans to confine his lobbying to Irish people over there. We had enough outsiders trying to tell us how to vote in the various EU treaty referenda over the years.
However, it may well transpire that another Irishman will wield more influence than our Taoiseach, as Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary plans to book a series of ads urging the people of Britain to vote to stay in the EU.