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Marketing 'Brand Ireland' will create new jobs - Michelle O’Neill

8 February, 2014 - by Michelle O'Neill

Partition did not and never will make economic sense.

You do not optimise the economy or public services by drawing arbitrary line on the map.

Our enterprises and workers do not need the added burden of two regulatory systems, two tax systems and two currencies. 

Partition is an injustice of history that has no place in modern Ireland.

As a nation we are best placed to drive economic growth and job creation

Across Ireland barriers exist to trade that are costly.

No sector highlights the negative impact of partition and the potential benefits of unity than the farming and agri-foods sectors.

In Brussels, at present in the north we are forced to negotiate with Europe through the British Government and yet farmers and rural dwellers north and south in Ireland have similar concerns and priorities.

Representation of farmers and the industry at the EU should be a matter for ministers north and south and not Westminster.

We have differing and competing bodies north and south promoting trade.

But can anyone say if milk produced in Armagh tastes different from milk produced in Louth?

Ireland's reputation of producing high quality foods is second to none, our exports north and south are soaring

Marketing 'Brand Ireland' will create new jobs and increase exports even further with vast returns for our economy. 

We should not be competing with one another but working together to compete against the rest of the world

Given that we are an Island, we have developed a fortress Ireland approach to animal and plant health. This is a common sense approach to common problem.

Yet there is more we can do to promote an all Ireland approach to agri-foods and farming.

The same logic extends to all sectors of the economy. 

Focused, equitable and sustainable economic policy on this island would facilitate job creation, economic growth and generate economic synergies throughout the island

The key question is not whether we can afford a United Ireland but can we continue to carry the cost of partition.

A fresh approach to the island economy and greater co-operation across our island can bring real success.

There is a better way for a New Economy in a new Republic that extends throughout the island of Ireland.

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