Facts of EU membership “costs + benefits”

“Although European Union membership has been of great benefit to us, it has also been of benefit to others, and has costs as well as benefits. We are prone to be somewhat naive about this….. We opened up our markets and had to allow other countries more generous access to our fish stocks than we have ourselves. These are items on both sides of the balance sheet. If we are to be realistic, we should not labour under the idea that we have some special debt or obligation to our partners or that we have been the beneficiary of positive discrimination. We have not.”
(Ahern, Dáil Éireann V. 463 C.1317, 28 March 1996).

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