Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Agriculture & Food and TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue says Brexit cannot be allowed to disrupt the thousands of people from Donegal who cross the border on a daily basis for work.

Commenting on the issue Deputy McConalogue said, “The latest census data available reveals that in 2011 there were 6,416 commuters travelling from Ireland to work in Northern Ireland, and a further 1,879 people crossing the border to study.  It also recorded more than 3,000 (3,039) Donegal residents whose place of work was registered as being in Derry.  We need to ensure that Brexit does not disrupt this flow of cross-border workers and we need to maintain the ease of mobility workers on the island of Ireland currently enjoy.

“The prospect of daily passport controls is only one element of the wider negative implications of Brexit for cross-border workers. We also need to consider the impact that any changes to employment and equality legislation could have. Currently this legislation is derived from EU legislation and cross-border works enjoy the same rights irrespective of which side of the border they work on. If the UK amend or weaken existing legislation this could have a serious impact on cross-border workers and we need to be cognisant of this.

“This is only one example whereby we may end up with having different standards and protections on the island of Ireland because of Brexit and the Government must do all they can to mitigate against this.

“Thousands of Donegal people travel across the border every day for work. Brexit is not of their making but it will nevertheless impact on their lives. The Government must ensure that cross border workers are carefully considered in the negotiations ahead”.