"North of Ireland could lose at least €3.5 billion in the case of a Brexit."
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson stated this morning that in the case of a Brexit the negative economic implications for the people of the North are very serious and whilst the EU must be democratised, this must be done without breaking it apart.
Speaking at an event in Coleraine on the economic implications of BREXIT, Ms Anderson stated:
"The correct strategic position from a republican and democratic perspective is to critically engage and reform the EU from within its structures. That is the best way to challenge the narrow, ideological, conservative and anti-democratic opposition to a social Europe. The strategic and political implications of Brexit run entirely counter to Irish national interests.
"Sinn Féin has a very clear position on a Brexit: we oppose it because the north is a net beneficiary of EU funding and the constituency we care most about is our own. The truth is that the North will suffer considerably in the event of a Brexit.
"Initially, the combined financial loss of EU investment, subsidies and funds to the north of Ireland, and the southern border counties, arising from a Brexit would be in the region of at least €3.5 billion.
"Additionally, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) report stated that in the event of Brexit, trade with the South of Ireland would suffer hugely and the economic output in the North would decrease by at least five per cent.
"Moreover, just this week, the 3rd Sector Index created by Ulster Bank stated that ¾ of the 3rd sector companies - social enterprises, charities and community organisations - have major concerns about the impact of a Brexit on their business.
"Furthermore, the investment bank Credit Suisse assessed that BREXIT would trigger a snap recession prompted by a fall in share prices.
"The negative economic implications for the people of the North are very serious.
Ms Anderson concluded:
"The case for Brexit is not motivated or sustained by alternative and better strategies or policies. Instead it is the product of a growth in influence by narrow English nationalism linked to conservative, Tory ideological interests.
"As, Republicans, we recognise that the core element of the struggle against austerity policies has to happen within the nation-states of the EU. However, this is not done in isolation and Irelands place is within a social and progressive Europe, where we can drive forward solutions.
"Sinn Féin will continue to work with progressive allies in Europe in order to enhance the positives of the EU, combat the negatives and hold the institutions to account. Sinn Féin will continue to critically engage and reform the EU from within its structures and in doing so Sinn Féin will continue to vigorously oppose a Brexit." ENDS