Independent MEP for Dublin, Nessa Childers, said there cannot be a ‘business as usual’ response from the EU institutions following Brexit vote. “The electorate’s reaction must give us serious pause for thought about how our citizens perceive the current direction of EU policy and the impacts of austerity as an economic orthodoxy.
“In Britain voters are dealing with a housing shortage and a NHS that is under terrible strain due to chronic under-funding. New immigrants work for lower wages competing for zero hour jobs, allowing resentment and prejudice to fester.
“While many of these issues are not directly under the control of the EU, they are a result of economic policies enthusiastically implemented by right wing governments across the EU.
“In Ireland during the last General and European elections people had little faith in main stream politics and made this clear in the ballot box. We see a similar scenario in the US during the current election cycle. Globalisation, job insecurity and austerity has resulted in a fundamental backlash from the people, who are saying they will accept no more.
This is not just a problem in the UK and the US, but also across Europe. In the long-run, Brexit may lead to other countries holding referendums, a far looser union, and possibly even the disintegration of a grouping set up to bring peace and security after World War II.
“I’ve been a long standing supporter of the European Union, but not only as a trading bloc protecting bankers and global investors. It has to be about people and society and how we make lives safer and better.