Tel. +44 (0)20 7287 4414
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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.

Bruges Group Blog

Spearheading the intellectual battle against the EU. And for new thinking in international affairs.

Coughlan Hollowing Out


The hollowing out of Irish independence: how the Irish people were made citizens of an EU Federation, by Anthony Coughlan, pamphlet, 16 pages, The National Platform, January 2021.

The indefatigable Anthony Coughlan has produced another fine contribution to the debates about Brexit, Irexit and the EU. He is a lifelong campaigner for Irish independence, neutrality, and civil rights. He is Associate Professor Emeritus in Social Policy at Trinity College Dublin.

In this new pamphlet he examines the political and economic roots of Eurofederalism, why Britain and Ireland joined the EEC, the euro, the EU Constitution's renaming as the Treaty of Lisbon, that Treaty's five steps towards EU statehood, the Franco-German power grab, the hollowing out of EU member nation states, the state authority of the EU, and the reach of EU laws. He asks who loses and who wins from Eurofederalism, pointing out that Ireland is now a net contributor to the EU, and he shows how Ireland can and must escape a new partition.

He sums up, "The EU is most accurately seen as a supranational anti-democratic system that deprives Europe's diverse peoples of their democracy, while serving the interests of its Big States, in particular Germany and France, as mediated through their ruling politico-economic elites, interacting with the Brussels bureaucracy, while on the economic side it serves the interests of EU-based Transnational Finance and Corporate Capital."

As he observes, "Free movement of labour and capital gives cheap labour and freedom from democratic control to the European and American Transnational Firms that are the principal economic backers of the EU 'project'."

He points out, "Surrounding the Europhile politicians in each country is a network of deracinated cosmopolitans, especially strong in the media, academe and senior national bureaucracies. These people tend to be individualistic, extollers of globalization, disdainful of the solidarity of the national community they belong to, enthusiasts for anti-national brainwashing, oriented towards identity politics rather than class politics and upholders of 'Europeanism' as an ideology that has for some become a substitute for a lost religious or political faith. The beneficiaries from supranational integration are few in number, but they are powerful and influential. The losers are we the people, who have had our democracy and national independence filched from us and who now face the imperative of organising to get it back, alongside our fellow democrats in the other EU countries, in an international movement in defence of national democracy. Success in that task is however historically inevitable."

The SNP's slogan of 'independence in Europe', like Sinn Fein's call for a reunified Ireland inside the EU, are both bogus. If these parties stood for genuine national independence they would be aiming to set up their own national currencies, make all their own laws, and establish their own unique national citizenship, instead of opting for a subordinate second-class citizenship in a dual-citizenship federal EU state.

He concludes that "a realistic policy on national reunification requires the Irish State to re-establish its national democracy and independence vis-à-vis the EU, get back its own currency, repatriate control of all its laws from Brussels and reassert a policy of meaningful neutrality." 

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Tel: 020 7287 4414
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The Bruges Group
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Founder President :
The Rt Hon. the Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven LG, OM, FRS 
Vice-President : The Rt Hon. the Lord Lamont of Lerwick,
Chairman: Barry Legg
Director : Robert Oulds MA, FRSA
Washington D.C. Representative : John O'Sullivan CBE
Founder Chairman : Lord Harris of High Cross
Head of Media: Jack Soames