Ireland must question its EU membership after Apple ruling - Nigel Farage

Mr Farage quit as UKIP leader, after a successful Brexit campaign

Ireland must question its EU membership after Apple ruling - Nigel Farage

British MEP Nigel Farage pictured in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin in 2012 | Image: RollingNews.ie

British MEP Nigel Farage says Ireland has to ask questions over its EU membership, following the Apple ruling.

The European Commission says Apple owes Ireland €13bn in taxes - something the Governemnt and the company are appealing.

Mr Farage quit as leader of his UKIP political group, after successfully campaigning for Britain to leave the European Union.

However, he remains on as an MEP in Brussels.

"I'm not retiring in the sense that I'm not going to be moving to Connemara...nice though it would be.

"I'm still going to be around - but I've just for the moment, I really have had enough," he told Sean Moncrieff here on Newstalk.

Mr Farage says he believes the EU is now "closer to break-up" than ever.

"Whatever debate Ireland may have had about the Euro, the cost of NAMA - all of those things - there is a row now going on with the Eastern European countries against Germany over migrant quotas that dwarfs anything we've seen before.

"My view is that this thing is now closer to break-up than it's ever been."

Ireland and the UK "absolutely unique"

Closer to home, he hopes to see a Brexit within a proposed two year timeframe.

"The Lisbon Treaty sets it out as a two year, maximum period - and whilst there is room for elongating that process, I don't think it's in the interests of anybody for this to take more than two years."

On the question of a border between Northern Ireland and the Republic, Mr Farage believes there will be no need for a hard border.

"The relationship between Ireland and the UK is absolutely unique - we have had a free movement area between the two of us that has been going on now for 95 years.

"I think the Queen's visit, so many of the things that have happened over the course of the last few years - I think the relationship between our two countries is now the best it has ever been - and all I can say is hurrah for that."

"The only thing I would say is this: that perhaps Ireland itself must ask the question.

"Given this extraordinary judgement last week where a deal between the Irish Government in Dublin and a major multinational has been overturned by the European Union, I think Ireland...is going to have to have the same kind of debate about its relationship with the European Union."