Irish Ambassador criticises ‘snide’ ‘Daily Telegraph’ article about Ireland

Simon Heffer suggests Ireland will leave EU and tax rate is all that keeps country viable

‘Daily Telegraph’ journalist Simon Heffer: suggested Ireland might be next to leave the EU.

‘Daily Telegraph’ journalist Simon Heffer: suggested Ireland might be next to leave the EU.


Irish Ambassador to Britain Daniel Mulhall has criticised as “snide” an article in the Daily Telegraph suggesting Ireland might be next to leave the EU and that the corporation tax rate is “just about the only thing keeping it economically viable”.

Mr Mulhall took to Twitter to criticise columnist and staunch Brexiteer Simon Heffer who stated in his column on Saturday: “I expect it won’t be too long before Ireland wants to leave the EU as well, not simply because of the importance of its trade with the UK, but because the EU is determined to forbid it to operate the 12.5 per cent corporation tax rate that is just about the only thing keeping it economically viable.”

He also stated that fears of a return to violence if a hard Border is imposed was “scaremongering, terrorism in Ireland has never died, and there is no link between it and new Border controls”.

He pronounced himself against a hard Border in Ireland. Instead, he stated that Britain would “just have to become ruthless at tracking illegal immigrants down, and deporting them”.

‘Not impressed’

Mr Mulhall responded: “Not impressed at snide comments of Simon Heffer @Telegraph. I can assure him there is precious little support in Ireland for an EU exit.

In other tweets, he added: “Simon Heffer, there’s lots going for Irish economy other than 12.5 per cent tax. Highly educated, hard-working population, location within EU.

“Compare Ireland’s economic performance 1922-73 with 1973-2017. Demonstrates the value of EU membership for a country like ours. 1973: GDP per capita 60 per cent of EU av. Today 2nd in EU.”

Last year Heffer, in a column in March to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising, compared the Irish desire for freedom from Britain to Brexit.

He wrote:“Many Britons now can understand how the Irish felt a century ago. We, too, want to govern ourselves, and determine our own future without the control of a foreign power. A distinguished Irish man said to me not long ago that if we choose to leave the EU, so Ireland would have to, given the volume of trade between us.

“I am not sure that follows: but what we have in common remains so powerful that, if we do leave, our first bilateral deal should be with our Irish cousins. Potentially, we have no better friend on earth: on this sombre centenary, let us recall that apparent paradox above all else.”