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How Ireland and the EU can fight the economic impact of Brexit north and south

31 May, 2017 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD and former Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard this morning launched the party’s proposals on “How Ireland and the EU can fight the economic impact of Brexit north and south.”

Speaking at the launch Deputy Doherty said “Securing designated special status for the North within the EU is essential to future economic growth and job creation and failure to act will have consequences for decades to come.”

Teachta Doherty said:

“The north being forced out of the EU following Britain’s withdrawal will have a devastating impact on businesses across the island. The shocking reality of what Brexit will mean to businesses is becoming all too clear in terms of the implications of a land border on the island, the north being forced out of the single market and new barriers to trade.

“At a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Finance last week experts said that the likely cost to business of customs declarations on imports and exports to the north could be €100 per movement.

“We know that about 2.3 million such cross-border trips are made each year, and this ‘new tax’ on companies could result in business closures, particularly in counties like Down and Louth which are so strongly interlinked.

“All of this is in stark contrast the growing potential of the all-island economy and it’s importance to creating jobs, growing businesses and taking advantage of markets on both sides of the border.

“In our document today we are setting out what we believe the economic priorities should be during the Brexit negotiations which begin on June 19th.

“These include:

·      Special status for the north within the EU to ensure continued access to the Single Market and the Customs Union and to maintain the north’s trading relationship with the rest of Ireland and the EU.

·      A Trade Deal with Britain.

·      Ensuring EU energy and Infrastructure programmes look at the needs of the island of Ireland as a whole.

“We are also setting out a range of fiscal measures which we believe that the Irish government should be pursuing to mitigate the disastrous impact of Brexit.

“These include:

·      Changes to EU fiscal rules to allow the Irish government the scope to invest, north and south, in order to protect against the fallout from Brexit.

·      Leveraging Structural Funds to allow north south co-operation to be treated as a qualifying combination for inter-regional programmes, to secure a commitment to the PEACE programme beyond 2020 and to establish a task-force, like the Barroso task-force but with an all-island mandate to secure the maximum level of funding.

·      Establish a new Brexit Solidarity Fund for sectors and regions likely to be severely impacted by Brexit.

“With the right approach and strategy this can be achieved. The EU has shown itself to be flexible in dealing with different forms of integration and different forms of relationships for member states and non-member states. There is also an appreciation at EU level of the unique challenges that Brexit poses for Ireland.”


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