Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Removing obstacles to cross border mobility a Sinn Féin priority

31 October, 2007

West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff says that Sinn Fein is determined that progress continues apace in removing obstacles to cross border mobility after the party ensured that the issue was to the fore of the agenda of the second meeting of the North/South Ministerial Council (NSMC) held in the Ballymascanlon Hotel in Dundalk yesterday.

The West Tyrone MLA said,

"Economic and social mobility patterns in the border counties are fast returning to what they were pre-partition and it is essential that obstacles to this natural mobility between adjoining counties are removed as quickly as possible.

"At yesterday's meeting the NSMC launched the Cross-Border Mobility Website ( which provides a central access point for information on a range of issues for people who already have moved, or wish to move, across the border to live, work and study.

"The Council also agreed that the NSMC Secretariat should convene two working groups - one to explore options for going forward on the transfer of pension rights on a cross-border basis and the other to examine cross-border banking issues, including transaction charges. Both groups will report back to a future NSMC meeting.

"The Council noted progress on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the Study of Obstacles to Mobility commissioned by the NSMC, including: progress on the mutual recognition of qualifications, including in the education and health areas; the introduction of single tariffs by some mobile phone operators; and the greater availability of public service information for people who wish to cross the border to live, work and study.

"This represents welcome progress but a vast array of other issues still needs to be worked on and solutions found. Sinn Féin is determined that progress continues apace in addressing the many barriers to cross border mobility which are affecting tens of thousands of people in communities right along the border. ENDS

Note to editors:

The Irish Government was represented at the NSMC meeting by Dermot Ahern, Minister for Foreign (and Six County) Affairs, who chaired the meeting. The Six County Executive was represented by: First Minister Ian Paisley; Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness; Junior Minister Ian Paisley and Minister of Education Caitríona Ruane.

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