Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Border Region Development Brendan Smith TD warned again today of the implications for Ireland of Britain leaving the European Union. However, he said there can be no compromise on the four freedoms of the EU in the forthcoming negotiations.
Commenting on the matter Deputy Smith said, “Recent research by the ESRI on the economic implications for Ireland of Brexit demonstrates that there are serious ramifications in the areas of trade, foreign direct investment, energy and migration. The findings are stark and underscore the significance of this Referendum for Ireland. Furthermore, we must examine the impact that Brexit would have on Northern Ireland and border counties. Co-operation between North and South, between Ireland and Britain has been the engine of the Good Friday Agreement. Our role as co-guarantors of the Agreement link us together. Those links were forged in the common ground of the EU and a unilateral British and Northern Ireland withdrawal would deal an immense blow to our capacity to work together”.
Deputy Smith warned however that the EU’s four freedoms, which include the free movement of goods, services, capital, and people, cannot be compromised. “Fianna Fáil is concerned about Britain’s demand to tackle the right of free movement of people and the consequences that this may have. While we accept that there have to be reforms in terms of people travelling to avail of welfare the core principle of free movement of people cannot be undermined”, he explained.
“I raised the issue of Brexit in Dáil Eireann again last week and will continue to highlight this very important subject. This Referendum is taking place in the not too distant future and it is clear that we need to start a national conversation about the implications of Brexit and what it would mean not only for Ireland, but for the EU as a whole”.