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Ireland thankful for the EU. Myth. The EU owe the Irish.

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Sceala Irish Craic Forum Discussion:     Ireland thankful for the EU. Myth. The EU owe the Irish.

The story was, Ireland did so well out of the EU. That story was a myth.
A few wealthy Irish farmers got even wealthier from subsidies, the rest of us paid for their lifestyle, not the EU.
Ireland is a net contributor to the EU and Ireland always has been.

Facts about Ireland and the EU
A estimated 200 billion in fish taken from Irish waters since Ireland joined the EEC in 1973.
Ireland’s fish is the second biggest indirect contributor to EU coffers.
Official European Union statistics reveal that Ireland's past image as one of Europe's largest financial beneficiaries is largely a myth.
Statistics indicate that, year on year off, Ireland has consistently been one of the biggest net financial contributors to Europe as a result of our fish supply.
Statistics covering the period from 1974 to 2004 throw some light on the true cost of Ireland's EU membership to date, and the enormous financial contribution Ireland has made to the European Union.
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When Ireland first joined the EEC it provided almost 44% of the total EU fishery waters but when quotas were established, we were awarded only 4% of the total catch. On average, more than five million tonnes of edible fish varieties are removed from EU waters every year, 40 per cent or two million tons of which originates from Irish waters.
By way of comparison, the Mediterranean produces less than 500,000 tonnes of fish yearly.

As a result, EU fishermen – according to Eurostat - have taken approximately €200 billion worth of raw fish out of Irish waters, since our accession. Had this raw fish been landed and processed in Ireland, it would have been worth an additional €400 billion on the basis of normal Value Added from raw to finished product.
This means, that the €58 billion which the government claims Ireland has received from the EU, has been offset by an estimated €600 billion worth of fish landed from what pre – EU were Irish fishing grounds.

Amazingly, after Germany, Ireland has consequently been the second largest indirect contributor to the EU's coffers!

Back in the 90’s, Irish fishermen were putting to sea and when they had their holds full, instead of returning to land their catch in Ireland, they headed out to sea to sell their catch to Spanish factory ships, because under the quota system it was illegal to land Irish fish in Ireland!
The reality is that while Ireland produces 40 per cent of the EU’s edible fish, the country's fishermen are only entitled to catch less than ten percent of that.
The rest is fished by foreign trawlers. These fish could and should have created badly needed jobs in peripheral areas of Ireland, jobs would have been based on our own natural resources and could not be re-located at the whim of a New York boardroom to China or wherever.
It has even reached the ludicrous stage where the EU is now insisting that any fish caught by sea anglers fishing from a boat, must be counted against Ireland’s commercial catch quota,though under the original proposal, fish caught by Sea Anglers fishing from the shore, were also to be counted against our quota!
Under UN Law, Ireland presently can claim approximately 700,000 square kilometres of continental shelf. Ireland has the largest area of marine territory in the EU and it is well in excess of ten times Ireland's land area. This gives Ireland a seabed more than fourteen times the European average, a seabed that contains proven mineral and natural gas reserves, and possibly oil reserves.
Iceland, Norway & Switzerland are members of the European Economic Area (EEA) and have preferential trading arrangements with the EU. They each export more into the EU than Ireland does! Iceland is a particular case in point, because Iceland's population is only 300,000!
The reason Iceland exports more into the EU than Ireland is simple, Iceland controls its own coastal fishery waters. Surely it’s time we reclaimed ours!
Frank Keoghan.

So much for the Exports argument.

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