The Irish people’s voices have been heard in this week’s Brexit vote, but the questions they have been asking have been drowned out by a deluge of political posturing.
In the wake of this political drama, it is essential that we focus our attention on the future, rather than the past.
As the Irish poet John Kelly put it: “The present is the past, and the past is the present.”1 Ireland, as a nation, is a part of the European Union.
Its citizens have an obligation to engage with their leaders on Brexit, and this is what we are seeing across the country.
We are not only being told that we must wait for the UK to exit the European Communities, but that we are “better off” in the new European Union than we were in the old one.
The Brexit vote has shown us what Brexit really means for our future.
We will have to be the first to be prepared for the prospect of an EU that is not working for us.2 We must be prepared to be a party of resistance.
We must not be content with the Brexit vote being a defeat for the British people.
We cannot continue to allow our political leaders to bully us into the bargain.
We can no longer sit by and watch the people of our country suffer under the same politics that have failed us before.3 We must fight for our values.
We should never be complacent about the issues facing us.
We need to be willing to change our approach, and we must fight to ensure that the policies we support are the policies that actually benefit our people.
This is the future that Ireland has so much in common with the United Kingdom.
This future is a vision of a more prosperous, peaceful and inclusive Ireland, with a vibrant economy, a strong military and a vibrant society.4 We must always be ready to defend our nation against any attack.
We have seen what happened in Paris and Brussels.
The British government has used Brexit as a pretext to pursue a campaign of terror and oppression, targeting the Irish people and their freedoms.
We see that we cannot allow this to happen again.
We therefore urge the British government to respect the values that make Ireland great, and to work to protect the freedoms and the rights of all of our citizens.5 The future of our nation and of the world is in our hands.
The next president of the United States, who has been a staunch supporter of Brexit, should be standing up to the bullies and to the leaders who are bullying us.
In 2017, he should be fighting for Irish citizens and for a peaceful Ireland.
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