Appeal for political unity to protect EU benefits

November 21, 2016

Following Friday’s North South Ministerial meeting in Armagh, Sinn Fein MLA Megan Fearon has appealed to all involved to use their collective influence to protect the benefits that EU membership has brought.

She says there is “widespread concern” at the potential loss of such benefits, particularly among those living in border areas.

“No-one knows what the coming period will bring but it is imperative that all of us who represent citizens on the island – from whatever community or political allegiance – use our collective influence to protect the very many benefits which EU membership has brought to our people, our island and our peace,” she said.

Speaking at the meeting, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness said Brexit will undermine the progress of the past two decades and the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement, which “is inextricably linked to European laws, rights and citizenship entitlements”.

“Issues like a hard border, customs posts and an erosion of the common travel area are the physical manifestations of such a disastrous and retrograde shift in the relationships on and between these islands,” he said.

The economic and social impact of all of this has been well-rehearsed and is already beginning to play itself out in terms of increasing prices, currency fluctuations, investor reluctance and a disgraceful upsurge in racism and xenophobia.

“Our circumstances are unique and there needs to be a recognition of that. The implications for our politics, social interaction and economic prosperity are grave,” he added.