Irexit Freedom party plans to contest Dáil and European elections

Irexit Freedom party backer and former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett

A new political party in the Republic campaigning for an exit from the EU plans to run candidates in the next Dáil and European elections.

The Irexit Freedom party, whose backers include former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett and UCD professor Ray Kinsella, is due to be launched on Saturday in Dublin.

Mr Bassett, a prominent Eurosceptic, is expected to argue for the benefits of leaving the EU and Customs Union, claiming it would help to avoid a hard border while maintaining frictionless trade with Britain.

Prof Kinsella will argue that leaving the EU is essential to take back the Republic's military neutrality, which he argues is compromised by membership of the EU.

All of the Republic's established political parties are supporters of the EU, with Sinn Féin having moved in recent years from being a eurosceptic to an EU-critical party.

Public support for an Irish exit from the EU has also remained very low.

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