Important new book on Ireland and the EU by Ray Bassett

Ireland and the EU Post Brexit is an important new book by former Irish Ambassador and Good Friday Agreement negotiator Dr Ray Bassett.

CIB members will recall Dr Bassett’s excellent speech at our annual rally last year (see here for video), on how the Irish backstop was being used as a weapon to try and thwart Brexit. That speech, it turns out, was a mere appetiser for the wealth of evidence, insight and analysis contained in this book.

Bassett is a former senior Irish diplomat who served as Ireland’s Ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas over the period 2010-16. Prior to this, he played an important role in the Northern Ireland Peace Process, as part of the Irish Government Talks Team during the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement negotiations, and subsequently the Irish government’s representative in Belfast.

Since leaving the Irish diplomatic service in 2016, Bassett has been a consistent critic of the Irish government’s approach to Brexit. He argues that by allying itself so unreservedly and uncritically with ‘Team EU’, the Irish Establishment is not only damaging Ireland’s interests, but risks destabilising the Northern Ireland peace process itself. Bassett writes that the Irish government ‘has been prepared to jettison its responsibilities under Good Friday in order to appease Brussels.’

For frankly-spoken home truths like this, Bassett has received little thanks in his home country, becoming something of a pariah among the Irish Establishment’s devout Euro-faithful. As UK journalist Liam Halligan writes:

‘A distinguished former diplomat, who cares deeply about his country, Bassett has been widely criticised by the Irish Establishment for daring to air uncomfortable truths about Dublin’s response to the UK’s Brexit vote. This caused him personal distress.

‘Yet he has continued regardless, speaking out against “rising Anglophobia” in Ireland, while imploring politicians on both sides of the Irish Sea to get beyond the poor and short-term decision making that has characterised our collective history. For that he deserves deep gratitude and respect – not just in the Republic of Ireland but among citizens of its nearest neighbour too.’

Dr Bonnie Weir, Lecturer in Political Science at Yale University, rightly notes that Bassett’s book ‘fills a remarkable gap in the literature on Ireland, its relationship with both the European Union and Great Britain and – not least – the implications of Brexit.’

She adds:

‘This book should be required reading for any intellectually honest and informed discussion of future relationships, consequential policy alternatives, and the possibilities surrounding conflict and peace in the region and on the continent.’

The chapter titles of Ireland and the EU Post Brexit provide an overview of the range of important issues Bassett addresses:

  1. Introduction: The Last Refuge of Scoundrels
  2. The Irish Bailout
  3. The British Irish Relationship Post-Brexit
  4. Northern Ireland and the Peace Process
  5. History of the Irish State’s Attitude to European Integration
  6. Ireland’s Changing Position in the EU
  7. Ireland’s Business Model and Irexit
  8. Ireland and the Euro
  9. The Democratic Deficit
  10. Ireland and Ever-Closer Union
  11. The EU Propaganda Machine in Ireland
  12. The Anglophone World and Ireland’s Diaspora
  13. Alternative Policy Options Open to the Irish Government
  14. Conclusion
  15. Epilogue

Ireland and the EU Post Brexit can be ordered directly from the distributor, York Publishing Services, for £12.50 a copy plus postage: click here to order.

It may also be ordered through local bookshops using the following information:

TITLE: Ireland and the EU Post Brexit
AUTHOR: Ray Bassett
ISBN NUMBER:  978-1-8380397-0-7
PUBLICATION DATE: July 2020
PUBLISHER: Grangeland Ventures Ltd.
DISTRIBUTOR: York Publishing Services
PRICE: £12.50