Paul Murphy calls for Brexit despite 'racist' opinions of Leave campaigners

Deputy Murphy says the EU has been a driving force behind "vicious austerity policies"

Paul Murphy calls for Brexit despite 'racist' opinions of Leave campaigners

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy | Image: Photocall

Anti-Austerity Alliance TD Paul Murphy thinks Britain should leave the European Union and escape their agenda of austerity.

Speaking to Newstalk Breakfast, Murphy said that despite the actions of some Leave campaigners, he still hopes that the UK votes for a Brexit.

"I want Britain to leave but not for the reasons outlined by the official leaders of the leave campaign, who are little English nationalists and often racists, but because we've experienced the reality of what the European Union is over the course of the crisis."

The former MEP said the EU has been a driving force behind "vicious austerity policies that have destroyed societies and destroyed people's lives" and that the Eurpoean Central Bank was key in "insisting that Ireland take on the burden on €64 billion of banking debt".

He believes that 'austerity' is written into EU law, stating that Ireland can't fix the housing crisis due to EU fiscal rules.

"We can't have state investment, even though we have the money, so we can't invest in housing," he said.

"It's a straight-jacket that means it's impossible to place the needs of ordinary people before profit."

Murphy said he also believes that if the UK were to leave, then "Ireland would be in a very different Europe" in five years' time.

He sees a Brexit as a good option for European reform and thinks it could be "part of a shift to the left" across the continent.

Meanwhile, Social Democrats TD Roisin Shortall said she is in favour of a 'Remain' vote despite sharing Murphy's concerns about the "neoliberal economics" that is practiced in Europe.

She said she would like to see Britain remaining and being a much more active member of the EU.

Deputy Shortall also said that, while there are a lot of reasons to be critical of Europe, a vote for a Brexit is a vote for the "unknown".

"If Britain comes out of that, we don't know what will follow that and what other countries will leave.

"We need to stay in Europe, we need to make Europe strong and we need to make the EU a union of the people," she added.

She also said that border controls would be reinstated in the event of a Brexit and Ireland wouldn't be responsible for deciding how that border could operate.

"The implications of that for trade in this country are absolutely enormous and it would be very detrimental to Ireland if it happens."