On September 8th, over 400 people attended our conference and AGM in Dublin. Those in attendance were both young and old, liberal and conservative, left and right leaning in their political ideology. Indeed many had no identifiable political ideology at all, but a common belief ran through us all: that Ireland should be a sovereign and independent free nation in charge of her own destiny.

This aim is what distinguishes the Irexit Freedom Party from the rest of the political parties who have all embraced European Unionism at the expense of our sovereignty. Ireland’s history is about fighting for  independence and the right to self governance. We are a nation of rebels with a fighting spirit, but in effect, we have just swapped one empire for another one in Brussels.

There has been a carefully orchestrated Europhile narrative built up between the political establishment and the media in this country for decades. There is little doubt that it has helped shape public opinion on EU membership. It suggests that Ireland has been a big winner in its relations with Brussels and that peace on this island is tied to being members of the EU.

This notion does not survive even the lightest of scrutiny. Ireland has been a net loser since it joined the EEC in 1973. Dr Karen Devine of DCU has calculated using Eurostat figures that when taking into account the value of our fisheries which are effectively under EU control, the net benefit to the EU has been 164 billion (calculated up to 2015). If we add the huge banking debt imposed on Ireland by ‘our friends in Europe’ which equated to 9,000 per person and 44% of the total debt – it paints a very grim picture indeed for Ireland.

The idea that the EU was instrumental in the peace process in the north is laughable revisionism. It is a historical fact that the Irish and British government working together with the Northern Unionist and Nationalist communities produced the Good Friday agreement. The USA also played a significant part with the support of Bill Clinton and deployment of Special Peace envoy George Mitchell.

The ‘ever closer union’ agenda of the EU as established in the treaties is in full swing and it is very clear that it does not serve our interests. We have already given away our long established neutrality by joining PESCO as Brussels pursues its policy of militarisation. The EU has long targeted our corporate tax policy which has underpinned much of our economic success. The IDA calculates that we have around 210,000 workers directly employed by multinationals in Ireland.

This figure does not include many thousands who are employed in spin off jobs associated with multinationals. EU plans for tax harmonisation across the union would damage our ability to attract investment into Ireland and would be a direct attack on the Irish economy. Proposals to scrap national vetoes on foreign policy would weaken Irish hands even further.

We believe Ireland’s future lies outside the European Union as a global, innovative, ambitious and sovereign country. The Human Development Index (HDI) which measures human development in countries around the world has Switzerland, Norway and Australia as the top 3. None of them are EU members. Ireland sits proudly in 4th. The inclusion of Singapore, Iceland and Hong Kong in the top 10 also shows that small countries can thrive in the global world and do not need to be part of political unions to succeed.

We are an All Ireland party who believe that the best people to look after our affairs on this island are the people themselves. We value free speech and freedom of association. The Irexit Freedom Party believes that Irish workers are over-taxed and that we need to reward work and enterprise better. Our party will clamp down on wasteful spending and corruption.

We believe that we are all equal before the law and oppose any form of racism. Most importantly we believe in national democracy and that we should have control of our borders, money and laws. We reject the groupthink that characterises much of Irish political and social debate. We believe that Irish people deserve a choice.

The Irexit Freedom Party will be engaging with people all around the country and making the case for an Ireland based on freedom and independence. A country that is global, ambitious, and outward looking. A country that works for the Irish people and strives to reach its great potential. Join us on that journey.