24 OCT 2010
By Ronald Quinlan | Irish Independent (Soden: Let's quit EU and join US)
IRELAND should consider leaving the EU if it prevents us from making our own decisions on the management of our economy, a leading member of the Government's newly-established Central Bank Commission has said.
As our politicians struggle to devise a plan to bring the country's spiralling deficit down to the 3 per cent of GDP by 2014 being demanded by Brussels, former Bank of Ireland chief executive and commission member Mike Soden has broken rank, issuing a refreshing challenge to the orthodoxy that Ireland could not survive without the European Union.
"Just for a moment, let us question why our hands are tied at this time as a member of the EU.
"If we are in search of a solution and Europe finds it difficult to accommodate the needs of the Irish electorate, should we look elsewhere?" Mr Soden asks in his new book on the financial crisis, Open Dissent.
Expanding on his argument, the 63-year-old career banker adds that: "Our membership of Europe has to have balance in all aspects, particularly in relation to our culture, our sovereignty and the price we pay for economic and financial independence.
"Have we unwittingly surrendered these precious aspects of our society as the price of European Union membership?"
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