Government must protect the South-East from Brexit – Cullinane
Sinn Féin TD for Waterford Deputy David Cullinane today launched a comprehensive document on protecting the South-East from Brexit. He said the region faces many challenges and now is the time to build up our defences.
Speaking at the Launch, Deputy Cullinane said:
“This Government is not adequately prepared for Brexit. We need a clear vision of where we want to be in five years’ time, and we need to start building for it now.
“The South-East region is vulnerable to threats from Brexit and needs to be protected.
“The region is strong in the Agri-food, hospitality and tourist sectors and these face particular challenges in respect of Brexit.
“Waterford City must be the catalyst for growth in the region and needs to be developed as such.
“We need to exploit opportunities and fully utilise the Port of Waterford and Rosslare Europort.
“The region needs to be able to compete for jobs on a level playing field.
“A University of the South-East is crucial and needs to be seen as a priority.
“I am calling for the establishment of an Agri-food fund, greater supports for the tourist sector, a strategic review of rail access to Rosslare Europort as well as exploring the potential of deepening both ports in the region.
“The challenges of Brexit mean that we need to act to develop the South East as a matter of urgency.”
Note: Main priorities set out in the document are:
➢ An Agri-food fund of a fixed-term duration to be set up under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund to address currency fluctuation issues
➢ An increase in support available to the South East tourist sector to enter the EU tourist marketplace
➢ Designation of Waterford and Carlow Institutes as a Technological University of the Southeast
➢ A strategic review of rail access to Rosslare Europort to allow the port reach its full potential
➢ Deepen a berth at Rosslare Europort from 7 metres to 9 metres, where feasible, in accordance with the Habitats Directive, to allow the port realise its potential as a strategic asset supporting regional exports and tourism.
➢ To explore the feasibility of the deepening of the Port of Waterford and exploit its commercial potential as a load-on load-off Port.
➢ Limerick-Rosslare road to be made a priority
➢ Completion of the New Ross by-pass
➢ The development of a regional Transport Hub that aligns road, rail and port infrastructure, maximises use of both ports (Rosslare and Waterford),ensures completion of the Enniscorthy and New Ross Bypass and improvements to the N24 to greatly improve the Limerick to Waterford road corridor.
➢ The development of key strategic sites such as Belview in South Kilkenny and Knockhouse in Waterford.
➢ Invest in the roll-out of Dark Fibre Network (broadband) in the region and the introduction of a pilot scheme that provides State financial support in key towns in each of the counties in the region
➢ The creation of an Independent Port Authority for Rosslare Europort with a mandate to develop the range and business activity at the Port.
➢ Funding to be provided to Waterford Regional Airport for necessary development works and expansion and extension of the runway.
➢ That the unique circumstances for Ireland are recognised and that the entire island stays in the customs union and the single market.