Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith is encouraging voters in Northern Ireland to ensure they have their say in the referendum on British membership of the European Union, which takes place this day week.
The outcome of this historic vote has the potential to have significant implications for people living on both sides of the Border.
Deputy Smith commented, “With just a week to go until polling day, politicians and campaigners are being tasked with mobilising their supporters to encourage voters in Northern Ireland and across Britain to ensure that they cast their ballots to remain within the EU. This referendum will be a defining moment in the history of the EU, the outcome of which could irrevocably change the nature of the Union.
“The latest opinion polls make for worrying reading – the lead the Leave side has begun to establish is a cause for concern and action must be taken to convince undecided voters to Remain. I spent last Saturday in Newry canvassing with my Party colleague Declan Breathnach TD and SDLP MLA Justin McNulty. While the reception was encouraging, Remain campaigners will have to ensure that they give a big push over the next week to solidify the vote.
“If Britain decides to leave the EU, it will have a major impact on people living right across the island of Ireland. It will have trade implications. The travel, tourism and energy sectors will be affected. Farmers and those in the agriculture industry will have to adapt to deal with new tariff, animal health and labelling regulations.
“The threat of the re-establishment of border controls would have a disproportionate impact on counties like Cavan and Monaghan. Cross-border workers, students and tourists, who have travelled north and south freely over the past 2 decades could see their movements severely restricted. Border counties will essentially bear the brunt of the outcome of this vote, and have the most to lose.
“Fianna Fáil respects the fact that this referendum is a matter for Britain alone to decide, however, we do not believe that a British exit from the EU is in the best interests of people on the island of Ireland, and we will be continuing to support calls for people to vote Remain in the final days of this campaign”.