EUROSCEPTIC Nigel Farage has said that Ireland should hedge its bets and join the Commonwealth.
Speaking on The Moncrieff Show yesterday on Irish radio station Newstalk, Mr Farage was answering a question posed to him by presenter Sean Moncrieff.
"Should Ireland perhaps, if they're thinking about a possible future," Sean Moncrieff asked, "think about leaving the European Union and rejoining the Commonwealth?"
"There is a debate going on with Irish relationships with the Commonwealth," Mr Farage said.
The outgoing leader of UKIP then acknowledged the "historical difficulty" for Ireland in joining the Commonwealth.
"I know there is an historical difficulty, with the Queen seen to be - well she is the head of the commonwealth," he said.
"And I know that perhaps poses some historical problems with the Republic of Ireland but I will say this, that the Queen is a figurehead, she doesn't make the law, she can't do anything other than be a global ambassador for the Commonwealth."
Mr Farage then concluded his interview by saying: "I would say to people in Ireland that joining the Commonwealth might be quite a good way of hedging your bets for the future given what a mess the European Union is in."
The Commonwealth is made up of 53 member states that were mostly previous territories of the former British Empire.
Mr Farage also spoke about the involvement of the European Commission in Apple's unpaid tax bill to Ireland.
"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," Mr Farage said, "I think Ireland is going to have to have the same kind of debate about its relationship with the European Union, about its right to democratic self government, as we've just had. "
Mr Farage also relaid how the European Union was responsible for the "huge bust" after the property boom.
"There's a very big question here whether the euro actually benefits Ireland," he said. "I would personally say that all it did was give [Ireland] a completely artificial property boom which led to a huge bust and then saddled you with NAMA and a whole load of debt."
Mr Farage also celebrated the "unique relationship" between Britain and Ireland.
"The relationship between Ireland and the UK is absolutely unique. We've have had a free movement area between the two of us going on now for 95 years.
"I would also say, I think the Queen’s visit – so many things that have happened over the course of the last few years. I think the relationship between our two countries is the best is has ever been.
"And all I can say is hurrah for that," Mr Farage added.