Hillary Clinton believes a Brexit ‘awful for Ireland’, says Bill

Former US president campaigns for his wife among Irish-Americans in New York

US Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton believes a Brexit from the European Union would be "awful for Ireland", Bill Clinton said last night.

Campaigning for his wife among Irish-Americans in New York, Mr Clinton said they had discussed a potential British exit from the EU when the debate began in the UK.

“First thing she says, ‘I bet that would be awful for Ireland and pretty tough for Northern Ireland’,” the former president said of their conversation. He said Ms Clinton was “really worried about that”.

Last night's event, held at the American Irish Historical Society next to Central Park in Manhattan, was hosted by political lobby group Irish American Democrats and attended by US congressman Joe Crowley, a Democrat from New York.



Mr Clinton’s role as a catalyst for the Northern Irish peace process was praised at the event, held to rally votes for Ms Clinton in New York’s key Democratic primary election on April 19th.

The former president said he wanted the peace process to become “a metaphor” for reconciling extreme factions in Europe and the Middle East, as well as for bringing divided US political opponents together.

“It happened because people who thought they would never, ever, ever stop fighting decided that they cared more about their children’s future than staying off in their own corner and holding on with all their might to the past.”

Mr Clinton, noting it was Equal Pay Day, said that “the thing I love” about the 1916 Proclamation is that it is “an equal rights declaration for women and men and an acceptance declaration of all traditions and faiths”.

“It makes it possible for me to go home at night,” he joked.

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell

Simon Carswell is News Editor of The Irish Times