15 July 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Standard journalist gets Strasbourg Brexit briefing

By Cianna McNally

Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy has said that some of the inner workings of the European Union are partly responsible for Britain’s recent decision to exit the EU.

During a meeting with the MEP for the Midlands North West constituency in the European Parliament in Strasbourg last week, Mr Carthy told The Northern Standard, in response to a question about a disconnect between people and events at EU level, that at times he felt that this was done purposely.

“An awful lot of what happens at a European level in my opinion is done in a manner with the express intention that citizens don’t entirely understand what’s going on. I think part of that is responsible for what we’ve seen in Britain. There has been a huge disconnect. I often say that this place has been purposely designed to be complicated. It is designed so that nobody can fully understand how everything works. I think that’s a built-in mechanism and is based on the assumption that citizens don’t need to know exactly how the laws that affect them are being made or the impact of them.”

However, Mr Carthy was quick to add that this was not always the EU’s fault as decisions made did not always impact on people straight away. He gave an example of a public meeting he had attended during the European elections in a small village in east Galway. A few hundred people were present because their local post office was under closure. All sitting MEPs and candidates were there along with government representatives and each pledged to do what they could.

“Unfortunately the European Union won’t let us invest and subsidise post offices in the way we would have been able to do in the past. Now what none of them actually said was the reason the Irish government can’t actually subsidise local post offices is because of a thing called the European Postal Services Directive, which prevents interventions in the private market. All the sitting MEPs who were in that room and got up and spoke in favour of the local post office and …

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