‘Business Brexit fears must be addressed’ – O’Neill
The concerns of the business community about the impact of Brexit must be addressed in the European negotiations, Sinn Féin leader in the North Michelle O’Neill has said.
Speaking from the CBI annual autumn launch in Belfast today, Michelle O’Neill commented:
“There was a palpable sense of concern at today’s event about the impact Brexit will have on the economy and on those thousands of businesses right across Ireland that rely on trade between these islands and on this island.
“I believe there is a clear view that our economy cannot withstand any exclusion from the single market, the customs union or a return to the borders of the past.
“Those concerns need to be addressed in the negotiations between London and Brussels where Sinn Féin is effectively using our influence through our all-island team of MEPs to ensure that is the case.
“I would also urge the Dublin Government, which is in a powerful position as one of the 27 EU member states, to robustly defend the interests of businesses and citizens, north and south.
“It is certainly our view that the only credible way to achieve that is for the north to be designated a special status within the EU enabling the whole island of Ireland to remain within the EU together.”
Turning to the Stormont negotiations, Michelle O’Neill reiterated Sinn Féin’s determination to secure a deal.
She said: “It's clear that local businesses want strong, stable institutions to work.
“They want institutions in place which can act as a bulwark against Tory austerity policies which threaten our economy and communities.
“They want institutions which will provide a strong voice against Brexit. The institutions can only do that if they are sustainable and credible and that is what Sinn Féin is working to achieve in the current talks.”