Brexit Block: Mid Ulster Council motion paints bleak picture of border landscape

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Mid Ulster Council’s elected chamber will be asked to support a campaign against Brexit on the grounds that it will be ‘a huge backward step’ and cause ‘real hardship’ for local communities.

Sinn Fein Councillor Phelim Gildernew, who is introducing the call for unity at Thursday night’s monthly meeting of the council, warned that the Brexit referendum result is already damaging trade and investment and causing currency fluctuations which are impacting on cross-Border business.

“A majority of voters in the North of Ireland voted to remain in the European Union in the Brexit referendum which took place on the 23rd June. The uncertainty caused by the A new EU frontier stretching from Dundalk to Derry would create real hardship for people in this region particularly those who cross the border on a daily basis who would face potential customs checkpoints, traffic delays and the closure of local border roads.”

He went on to warn that the end of EU economic support for peace building and border communities will hit many vital community projects who have over the past decade received over £1 billion in EU support.

“With the end of EU subsidies farmers in the North will suffer a dramatic loss of income as CAP accounts for approximately 80% of farm incomes in the north and that this will be a severe blow to the local economy in rural areas north and south of the border.

Councillor Gildernew welcomed the initiative of those from the business sector, the community sector, farmers and individuals who have come together to form Border Communities Against Brexit to demand that the Irish and British Governments respect the North’s remain vote.”

His motion proposes: “Recognising that it makes absolutely no sense to have one part of Ireland operating within the EU and another outside, this council will actively support the campaign by Border Communities Against Brexit or the North’s remain vote to be respected.”