The Irish public has been left totally bemused by the recent comments made by former British MP Nigel Lawson. Newstalk reported that he said that he hopes the Republic of Ireland ‘realises it made a mistake’ in gaining independence and becomes part of Britain once more.
The comments have created a varied response on social media with some commentators reacting angrily, others bemused and some thinking it was some sort of spoof.
Lawson was one of the leading cabinet members during the rein of Margaret Thatcher. He made the comment when discussing the potential British exit from the European Union. He is a supporter of an exit and is chairman of the Vote Leave campaign.
The issue is the source of a heated debate in Britain and the country will hold a referendum in the near future. Lawson made the unexpected statement during a recent discussion.
He said the United Kingdom has a “special relationship with the Irish Republic, for obvious historical reasons, but also reasons of sentiment”.
He then added: “I would be very happy if the Republic of Ireland – I don’t think it’s going to happen – were to say we made a mistake in getting independence in 1922, and come back within the United Kingdom. That would be great.”
The Irish and British public were shocked by the comments, particularly given the timing as 2016 sees the 100 year anniversary of the Easter Rising.
Here are a few of the responses on Twitter:
“I wonder if there was a time in the past when you could say of Nigel Lawson, ‘he’s a quite competent chap’. Current status: complete flake””
“I thought that Nigel Lawson stuff about Ireland ‘changing its mind’ was a spoof thing this morning… apparently not. #Bonkers”
“Some rather interesting ideas on how to commemorate the anniversary of the Easter uprising”
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