Budget does nothing to reassure Border Communities battered by Brexit – Ó Donnghaile
Sinn Féin Senator and Spokesperson on North-South Integration Niall Ó Donnghaile has said that communities right along the Border will take no heart or reassurance from today's Budget announcements in the Dáil.
Speaking after sitting in on the Budget announcement, Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said;
“Despite a mass mobilisation of border communities at the weekend (with the campaign only set to grow and become more organised) which clearly articulated the live, tangible and worsening consequences of the English & Welsh vote to take the North out of the EU against the expressed democratic will of the people, today's Budget doesn't even reference the border.
“It is a further indication that this Government is not setting the tone for their negotiations with the Tory Government but rather at such a critical time, have engaged in short term populist moves without seeking to prepare and counter the longer term negative impacts along the Border Corridor. These problems needs a thoughtful, strategic, targeted and bespoke response, at the first opportunity to devise one, the Government has fallen short.
“The people along both sides of the border and the population in the North who clearly wish to remain deserve better. That is why, in our Alternative Budget, Sinn Féin proposed the setting up of a Border Economic Development Zone to harmonies' trade and maximize prosperity for border business’.
“Communities along the border deserve investment, stimulus and a government that will stand up for them at the National and European levels.
“Brexit has forced the hand of this government to act in the national interest. It should have been doing so prior to Brexit.
“It needs to have an national plan to help create a national economy. I don't see any reference to this fundamental objective in any of the government's proposals today and that will give little reassurance to the Border Communities Against Brexit.”