Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Brendan Smith says efforts need to be stepped up to ensure that the economy along the border is protected from the fallout from Brexit. As the March 29th deadline approaches without much progress on a deal, businesses along and near the border are becoming increasingly worried about the impact of a UK crash out.
Deputy Brendan Smith explained, “Businesses in the agrifood, construction and engineering sectors are the drivers of the local economy in Cavan, Monaghan and other border counties. These industries will be some of the hardest hit by the Brexit fallout. They are heavily dependent on exports to Northern Ireland and Britain and there are real fears about job sustainability.
“If jobs in this region are to be protected and if the economy is to grow, there will need to be a specific assistance programme for the region.
“This region has a proud tradition of cross-border cooperation, with agencies working together on INTERREG and PEACE funding initiatives. These have played a vitally important role in improving community relations and progressing major infrastructural projects.
“I believe we need a specific economic package, which would target jobs and economic development in the region, and which would build on the existing cross-border initiatives.
“I believe it is essential that the Irish government, along with the British Government, consider the establishment of such a specific stream of funding for economic development and protection”.