Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth says British Prime Minister Teresa May’s decision not to include the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in the Government’s special Brexit Committee is a deeply worrying development.

Deputy Smyth commented, “Brexit poses one of the biggest political and economic threats to this country, and the Border region will be disproportionately impacted.  The fact that Teresa May has failed to appoint Secretary of State James Brokenshire to the 12 person Brexit Cabinet Committee is very worrying and raises questions about the Conservative government’s grasp of the seriousness of the impact of Brexit on Northern Ireland.

“We’ve already seen the collapse of Sterling and people are beginning to travel North again.  Unless this is addressed, it will have a devastating effect on Border businesses.  The mushroom industry has already seen a number of job losses.  Farmers and people in the agri and food sector are highly reliant on UK exports, with almost half of all goods leaving the country being UK bound.

“The impact of Brexit cannot be underestimated, and this latest development in the UK raises serious concerns.  So many important issues remain up in the air – no decision on border controls has been taken and the increasing uncertainty is creating a genuine atmosphere of fear in Border counties.

“The idea that the British Minister with responsibility for Northern Ireland would not hold a permanent seat on the Cabinet Committee examining these issues is baffling.   Fianna Fáil’s Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Darragh O’Brien will be raising these concerns with the British Ambassador and seeking clarity on these issues”.