Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan and European Parliament candidate for Midlands-North-West Brendan Smith has welcomed the commitment given at Farmleigh by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, that the European Union will do everything they can to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

Speaking at a local election launch in Virginia, County Cavan Deputy Smith explained, “It was very welcome that key voices and stakeholders from Northern Ireland were invited to meet with the Chancellor to tell her of the difficulties posed by Brexit, not least a hard no-deal Brexit.

“It is time for all key stakeholders in this process to make sure that the impact on the day-to-day lives of people living on both sides of the Border remain foremost in their decisions.

“There is a litany of issues which must be protected. Cooperation that exists now between health services on both sides of the Border must remain in place. People requiring healthcare from both sides rely on this cooperation. There can be no borders or boundaries when it comes to healthcare.

“I was encouraged to hear Chancellor Merkel make direct mention of the Border and her own lived experience of how detrimental walls and hard borders can be to a region.

“Farmers, service providers, business communities and families in the Border region cannot be inconvenienced or have their livelihoods threatened by the political fallout of Brexit. 

 “I will use my knowledge of the EU, gained from my years on the Council of Ministers, to ensure that our concerns are heard clearly in Brussels and Strasbourg if fortunate enough to be elected to Europe this coming May. 

“When Brexit was first mooted in the UK I highlighted the difficulties that would arise, and I will not stop fighting for the people living on or near the Border – on both sides,” concluded Deputy Brendan Smith.