Latest: Ireland has been 'humiliated' by the EU says Farage

Update 3.15pm: Ireland has been "humiliated" by the EU, Nigel Farage said.

The former Ukip leader called for a eurosceptic mobilisation to win votes off pro-EU politicians in the next European elections and said there was a democratic deficit in the national debate.

During his Dublin visit he recalled the austerity of the post-2008 European bailout of the Irish state and urged citizens to rebel against Brussels.

The MEP said: "What on earth is going on in the politics of this country?

"How much more humiliated can the Irish nation be than for years being run by the Troika?"

Ireland's spending plans were scrutinised by representatives of the European Commission, European Central Bank and IMF, known as the Troika, and strict spending cuts imposed.

Mr Farage added: "The indignity, a few years back, of your budget being seen by the German government before it was put to the Dail."

EU funding has helped Ireland overhaul its infrastructure and benefited its agriculture enormously.

Mr Farage said the country was not even a net beneficiary of EU funding any more.

He told a sizeable conference of supporters: "You are paying into the European budget and your Taoiseach said in Strasbourg the other week he is happy for Ireland to pay even more into the European budget.

"Are you pleased about that?"

Leo Varadkar said he was "open" to contributing more for things which advance the "European ideal" such as structural funds for Central and Eastern Europe to help them unlock economic potential.

Mr Farage said: "The perception of the media across Europe is that Ireland is very pro-European, very servile to the demands of Brussels.

"I don't think Ireland is a pro-EU country, I think the political, media and big businesses in Dublin, they are the ones."

He suggested it was Irish civil servants lining their pockets in Brussels who supported the EU.

To cheers he added: "They love it. They love it."

The crowd almost filled a hall at the RDS conference centre and gave Mr Farage a standing ovation.

He railed against the depiction of Brexiteers as xenophobes and bigots.

He said: "They go for the man and not for the ball."

Mr Farage said the European project was not going to work and the euro was unsuited to Ireland.

He added: "And yet I get told that Ireland is a very proud EU country, Michael O'Leary (Ryanair chief executive) told me so, it must be right.

"The euro has been bad for Ireland but a total catastrophe for countries like Greece."

He said there was an East/West split, with eurosceptic countries like Hungary leading the way.

"The EU will not work, it has not worked, it is increasingly unloved by the people of Europe," he said.

Update 12.30pm: Pro-EU group rebuts Farage's view that Ireland should leave union

Speaking in response to Nigel Farage's comments on Ireland leaving the EU, executive director of European Movement (EM) Ireland Noelle O Connell said: “Since Ireland joined the EU, we have gone from a stagnant economy, heavily reliant on the UK, with a GDP per capita of just 60% of the EU average, to having the second highest GDP per capita (Eurostat 2017).

"In contrast to what is being said, it is the EU Single Market of over 500 million consumers that is Ireland’s largest export market, not the UK market.

"EU membership also allows Ireland to trade worldwide through 759 treaties and international agreements negotiated by the EU. This is something that the UK stands to lose as a result of Brexit."

She added that apart from economics, our EU membership allows us all to travel, study, work, live and trade freely in the union's 27 other countries.

"While we respect the decision of the UK electorate, let’s not forget that an overwhelming majority of Irish people want to remain in the EU. A Red C poll conducted in May 2017 showed that 88% of Irish people think that we should remain in the EU and 87% believe that on balance, Ireland has benefited from EU membership," she added.

Earlier:

Nigel Farage has denied that membership of the EU had "too much to do" with Ireland's prosperity in recent decades, and suggested we should follow the UK out of the EU.

He said our low corporate tax rate, labour skills and language skills (ie that we are English-speaking) had more to do with Ireland's success than EU membership.

Speaking to Marian Finucane on RTE radio today, he said: "What Brexit was about was whether (the UK) wants to be a self-governing nation, or part of a bigger political union", adding it was debatable whether the EU was good for jobs or growth.

He said there needed to be a free trade arrangement between Ireland and the UK after Brexit.

Speaking on the future of Europe at Trinity College’s historical society yesterday, Mr Farage said he got involved in politics to fight against the EU but that he is now considered a “reincarnation of Adolf Hitler”. He will also speak at a ‘Irexit’ conference today in Dublin, debating if Ireland should leave the EU.

In this morning's radio interview, he insisted what Ireland had lost in fisheries alone by signing up to EU policies "far outweighs" what Ireland had gained in subsidies from the EU.

Mr Farage also said Leo Varadkar reminded him of a young Tony Blair, in being personable and articulate.

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