Next government must argue for protection of border region in advance of Brexit referendum - Senator Kathryn Reilly
Speaking this afternoon since the announcement of 23 June as the date for the British referendum on EU membership, Sinn Fein Cavan/Monaghan General Election candidate Senator Kathryn Reilly has stated that regardless of who is in Government after the election, they must argue for protection of border region in run up to the Brexit referendum.
Senator Reilly said:
“One of the dominant worries for those of us who live in the border regions is what will happen if Britain leaves the EU and takes the north of Ireland out with it. Therefore it is hugely important that the next government argue for protection of border region in run up to the Brexit referendum on June 23rd.
“It is estimated that Ireland could be worse off to the tune of €3 billion a year if Britain leaves the EU. The loss of such a significant sum to our small island economy would be huge, and is worrying in the extreme. But in particular this loss would affect the border regions much more severely than any other area.
“I have been particularly vocal to date on the negative implications which a British exit from the EU would have on the border regions. For those of us who live along the border, the effects would be life changing. Furthermore, there would be social as well as economic consequences; a British exit could see the reintroduction of border controls and check points, custom checks, and other such negative measures.
“Earlier in the year when I and other members of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs published a report on our assessment of the implications for Ireland of a British exit from the EU, I made it clear that the border communities must be protected against any eventuality. That is still my belief, and I will continue speak out on behalf of the border counties on this issue.
“The time for action is now and Sinn Fein will be actively campaigning for the north of Ireland to remain in the EU.”