Economic case for all-Ireland development must be backed with expansion of bodies and areas of co-operation
Sinn Féin General Secretary and Economic Spokesperson Mitchel McLaughlin has
said that Peter Hain's comments that the northern economy 'is not
sustainable in the long-term' is part of the wider recognition that the
economic argument is at the cutting edge of the debate about Irish Unity.
Mr McLaughlin said:
"Peter Hain's comment that the northern economy 'is not sustainable in the long-term' is part of the wider recognition that the economic argument is at the cutting edge of the debate about Irish Unity.
"The logical outworking of this recognition is that Peter Hain begin to respond positively to Sinn Féin's proposals for the expansion of the number, range and remit of all Ireland bodies and areas of co-operation.
"A small island with a population of just over 5 million people cannot develop successful economic strategies on the basis of economic division. The smaller northern economy within that is unsustainable by itself and cannot exist in isolation. The result is an inefficient, ineffective and unequal economy characterised by high levels of economic inactivity, poverty and inequality.
"Competition between north and south and neglect of all-Ireland economic opportunities is wasting money every day. The only way to truly transform the economy in the north of Ireland is to set it in the context of an island-wide strategy for development and regeneration. To succeed, any economic development strategy must, at a minimum, remove the barriers to north/south business development and trade and to cross-border working mobility." ENDS