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Brexit campaign more to do with Tory infighting than democratic reform - Kearney

30 May, 2016 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney, MLA, has said it is now clear the Brexit campaign is completely bound up with divisions in the British Conservative Party and has nothing to do with concerns about economics or democratic reform.

He said:  
"In recent days over 600 economists have repeated the widely held view that a Brexit would have catastrophic economic consequences for GDP, investment, trade, and household incomes.

"The knock on effect for the North will result in a loss of billions of Euros in farm subsidies, inward investment, and Peace, Intereg and Social Fund programmes. In recent years 10% of the 6 counties' GDP has been linked to European transfers.
"However, with more evidence emerging that those supporting a Brexit within the Tory party are now challenging David Cameron's leadership, by focusing in on the immigration issue two things are clear:  Brexit has become a proxy for fighting out deep seated divisions in that party; and, the debate on immigration itself is actually about a narrow right wing agenda which is about 'keeping foreigners out'.

"The Tory party's infighting has nothing to do with citizens in the North.  The economic and political future of this region, and Ireland as a whole, should not be made hostage to these negative agendas.

"The fallout caused from a Brexit will leave the North exposed to greater levels of austerity, economic uncertainty, and potential political instability.

"Ireland's place, North and South is in Europe.  The interests of local businesses, farmers, workers, and wider society must not be subordinated to divisions among right wing Conservatives and narrow English nationalists."

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