The Good Friday Agreement allowed borders to end on this island we certainly do not want to see them return. Since borders were removed there has been a seamless interaction on all farming and business transactions between both parts of this island and Fianna Fáil wants this to continue.
The people of Northern Ireland, both Nationalists and Unionists, voted to remain in the EU and so the prospect of hard borders and trade tariffs seem intolerable.
The United Kingdom has traditionally been our largest trading partner with approximately €1.2billion worth of goods and services traded between our two countries on a weekly basis. Brexit now poses not only a direct threat to our trading relationship, but also the Common Travel Area, East-West and North-South relations and the almost invisible border on the Island of Ireland. Ireland therefore stands to be affected by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union more so than any other EU member state. Fianna Fáil believes that Ireland should be at the negotiating table when these issues are being discussed.
The UK’s decision to leave the Single Market and possibly also the Customs Union coupled with the resulting restrictions on the free movement of capital, labour and goods may result in significant costs to our businesses, job losses, a decline in exports to the UK, and a reduction in national wealth.
Our Party is clear that while our future remains in Europe our priority must be in ensuring that Ireland’s specific concerns are addressed in the negotiations ahead.
Fianna Fáil is seeking:
- For Northern Ireland to be designated as a ‘special status’.
- To preserve the almost invisible border on the Island of Ireland.
- To maintain the Common Travel Area.
- To safeguard and move forward the peace process.
- To secure essential EU peace funding that is essential to Northern Ireland and the border regions.
- To maintain in as much as feasibly possible current trading relationships.
- To protect and insulate Irish industries from the negative impacts of Brexit and for mechanisms to be put in place to assist them to diversity into new markets, maintain their UK Market share and develop their e-commerce business.
- To remain a strong and dedicated member of the EU and to work from within to reform it so it lives up to the principles upon which it was founded.
- To maintain and build upon our economic, social, political and cultural ties with the UK.
- A Minister Dedicated to Brexit.
- Our Corporate Tax Rate to be protected.
- A review of Food Wise 2025 in light of Brexit to prevent job losses in the Agri -Food sector.
- A Specific plan to attract financial companies to locate in Ireland.
- An EU Reform Fund to be established to protect vulnerable countries from the negative impacts of Brexit.
- A review of State aid rules with a view to establishing a temporary framework to enable Irish businesses diversify and restructure.
- An Exporters Fund to assist companies diversify into new markets and maintain their UK market share.
- Export credit to be available to offer finance to companies for international export operations and other activities
- Online trading supports to assist companies grow their online business and e-commerce sales.
- Regulation changes to allow credit unions loan to businesses.
- Workers’ Rights to be protected
- Investment in infrastructure and also housing and childcare to make Ireland the destination of choice for companies seeking a new European base.
- Support for the regions and targeted measures to ensure that Brexit does not contribute to greater regional imbalance.