Sinn Féin publish Brexit contingency proposals - David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin Brexit spokesperson David Cullinane today launched a document on the need to prepare for a no-deal outcome with Brexit, adding that serious investment Is needed to protect our economy and society.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“Ireland will be most affected by Brexit apart from Britain – in ways that are out of proportion to anything that may be experienced by the rest of the EU.
“Because of this, it is not possible to apply a contingency plan drawn up to suit France or Germany or Italy and expect it to work for Ireland.
“We need bespoke solutions – our situation demands it. This is the case whether there is a soft or hard Brexit.
“The response that is needed is one that while cognisant of our EU responsibilities, nonetheless addresses the singular problems facing Ireland – namely the threat Brexit poses to exporters, the all-island economy, the Good Friday Agreement, and the border.
“We believe in a dual strategy for dealing with a no-deal Brexit.
“The first is to mitigate its effects in the short-term through state measures, and second to overcome the disruption through medium to long-term investment in capital and social infrastructure.
“Brexit does not just affect business – it affects communities and people as well.
“Any Brexit strategy worth its salt needs to reflect and address this reality. This holds whether there is a deal or not.
“Finally, the people of the north must be given a say in their own future – either it is with an isolated and inward–looking Britain or it is with a reunified Ireland. Brexit puts a border poll – a referendum on Irish unity – firmly on the agenda.
“There is a need for direct government support for those importers and exporters that trade exclusively with Britain.
“The vast majority of these businesses are small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and as such are lacking the scale of resources to easily change practices that were many years in the making – and to do so before the end of March 2019.
“Sinn Féin believes that a €2bn Brexit stabilisation fund should be established, that rights of workers at risk of a Brexit ‘race to the bottom’ should be strengthened, and that the Irish government must prepare for a referendum on Irish unity following Brexit.
“This should be used to invest in much-need infrastructure, in roads, ports, rails, public transport, housing, health, and education.
“We need a plan that is directed at the issues facing Ireland, not just those facing the EU.
“This document is Sinn Féin’s contribution to this process.”