11th Oct, 2017
The eleven local authorities that comprise the Ireland/Northern Ireland Border Corridor launched their report “Brexit and the Border Corridor on the Island of lreland: Risks, Opportunities, and Issues to consider” in the Northern Ireland Executive Office in Brussels Wednesday 11 October 2017.
The Report has found that an economic border would be detrimental to, not only the Border Corridor, but to Ireland as a whole. It also found that whilst economic certainty is important, political certainty is essential for the border corridor to thrive and the Peace Process cannot be jeopardised.
A large delegation comprising Chairpersons, Mayors and Chief Executives from all the local authorities, who comprise the Border Corridor, travelled to Brussels to attend the event.
The size of the delegation reflects just how important this issue is, not just for local authorities, but for all the people who live and work along the Ireland/Northern Ireland border corridor.
At the Report launch, the level of interest was highly significant and the delegation met with over one hundred attendees to include Members of the European Parliament from both Ireland and Northern Ireland, Brian Carty from the European Parliament Brexit Steering Group, Andrew Elliott from the Northern Ireland Executive Office in Brussels, Head of Ireland’s Brexit Team Emer Deane and Nina Obermaier from the European Commission’s Brexit Team.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson Councillor Roisin Mulgrew said, “The Report highlights that the Irish border area will be most affected by Brexit. The border local authorities quickly realised after the referendum of June 2016 that there would be a particular impact on the one million citizens of the border region, and they set out to quantify the actual impact and thus, as a collective, they commissioned the Report.”
Councillor Mulgrew continued, “Without a Government in the North of Ireland and negotiations taking place between Brussels and London directly, local authorities felt it necessary to champion the needs of the border region specifically and to ensure that those needs are reflected and prioritised during Brexit negotiations. Our children and grandchildren’s lives depend on decisions which will be taken over the next few years. It is our duty to get this right. It is the contention of the Border Corridor Local Authorities that in order to do that all aspects of the Good Friday Agreement must be maintained.”
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