Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith has called on the Tánaiste and Jobs Minister Frances Fitzgerald to send a clear message to Border communities that the Government will devise new initiatives to support Border businesses in the face of Brexit fallout.

Deputy Smith raised the issue with the Tánaiste in the Dáil this week.

He commented, “I am pleased that the Tánaiste has accepted my invitation to the Border area to come and meet with local industries who are feeling the impact of Brexit first hand.  The agri-food, construction and engineering sectors are major players in the local economy and have felt the hit as a result of currency fluctuations in the aftermath of the Brexit vote.  The bulk of these companies are major players in the export market but are being negatively impacted as Sterling continues to fall.

“The Government needs to send out a clear message that new initiatives will be implemented to support these sectors over the upcoming months and years as the Brexit negotiations begin in earnest.  Companies which managed to see through the difficult years and build up their businesses after the economic crash are now very worried about the future and the Government must be on hand to reassure them.

“Britain is often the primary export market for many companies based along the Border and the recent Sterling fluctuations are a major issue for them.  Similarly, Britain is often a landbridge for products leaving the region on their way to Europe or further afield, as the ports in Northern Ireland are often used by companies south of the Border.

“We must address the issues, concerns and challenges arising from Brexit on an all-Ireland basis.  The co-operation which has been built up since the signing of the Good Friday Agreement must be supported and enhanced as we face the challenges that Brexit presents and I am calling on the Tánaiste and other Government Ministers to ensure that these companies are given the supports necessary to sustain their business through the Brexit fallout”, concluded Deputy Smith.

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