06/12/2016

FG Brexit Response Working Group Meets In Belfast

The Fine Gael Brexit Response Working Group has met at Stormont in Belfast to discuss the challenges presented to the island of Ireland by the UK's decision to leave the EU.

Deputy Fergus O'Dowd, Fine Gael TD for Louth and Chair of the North-South Stream of the Group, chaired the meeting on Monday, 05 December, and was accompanied to Belfast by Fine Gael Sligo/Leitrim TD, Tony McLoughlin, and Fine Gael Senator Joe O'Reilly of Cavan/Monaghan.

The Fine Gael Group met with elected representatives of the SDLP, the Alliance Party and the Ulster Unionist Party.

Speaking after the meetings Deputy O'Dowd said: "The decision of the UK to leave the EU has very serious implications for Northern Ireland and for the border region on this island. I greatly valued the opportunity to have useful discussions today with elected members of the SDLP, the Alliance Party and the UUP, and I thank the parties for their engagement on a wide agenda.

"These political meetings will complement the public meetings that I am organising in border counties, to which I urge people to come along and share their views and concerns. These consultations will feed into a report which I have been asked to compile by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who is leading Ireland's response to Brexit internationally and domestically."

The three Fine Gael parliamentarians who participated in meetings all represent border constituencies.

Deputy O'Dowd concluded: "Deputy McLoughlin, Senator O'Reilly and I, along with our fellow parliamentarians representing border constituencies, are acutely aware of the implications of Brexit.

"Indeed, many of the people we represent are already feeling the impact of Brexit, for example in the area of trade. Others have real concerns about what the future holds after the UK leaves the EU.

"The Government is working to address the challenges Brexit poses to Ireland, and the work of the Fine Gael Brexit Response Working Group will feed into that process."

(MH/JP)

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