FINE Gael MEP for Ireland South Seán Kelly has sounded a warning in the wake of the UK referendum to leave the European Union, fearing that a ‘hard border’ between Ireland and Northern Ireland could lead to a rise in extremism between nationalists and unionists.
Kelly, the leader of the Fine Gael delegation in the European Parliament, painted a gloomy picture in the wake of the ‘Brexit’ referendum and laid the blame with outgoing British Prime Minister David Cameron and prominent ‘leave’ campaigners Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage.
‘The fallout from Brexit is fast and furious’, he said.
‘Sterling is down to a 30-year low, the triple-A rating is gone, Scotland is talking about leaving and in Ireland we have our problems because the United Kingdom is our closest ally and our biggest trading partner.
‘The EU spent millions helping to create peace in Northern Ireland, if the hard border is introduced, there is a danger that we would play into the hands of extremism and all of that could work could be undone again. For this, we can thank three people in particular: Dithering David, Bluffing Boris and Ferocious Farage.
‘They couldn’t stop putting the boot into Europe, but now their legacy is that they have put a ‘dis’ into United Kingdom –disunited geographically, generationally, and politically.’
Meanwhile, Bord Bia hosted a Brexit briefing event for food and drink exporters in Dublin recently as it commenced its range of support activities for the Irish agri-food industry.
At the event, Bord Bia outlined its strategy for consolidating Ireland’s position in the valuable UK market and equipping exporters in managing short and medium term challenges that follow the UK referendum result on EU membership. Exporters and specialists in currency management, UK consumer behaviour and EU trade regulations all featured. This followed on from intensive Bord Bia engagement with UK customers through its London office and its own post-Brexit survey of food and drink exporters.