Labour will strive for best outcomes from brexit dangers

04 November 2018

Speaking in advance of the Labour Party Conference’s panel discussion on Brexit, involving Claire Hanna MLA (SDLP), Stephen Pound MP (UK Labour), Loraine Mulligan (Labour), Dominic Hannigan (Labour) and Manuel Cortes (General Secretary, TSSA Union), and reacting to the latest comments from Taoiseach Leo Varadkar about the Brexit negotiations, the Leader of the Labour Party, Brendan Howlin TD spoke about the seriousness of the threat caused by Brexit, especially to rural Ireland and smaller towns.

Deputy Howlin said: “As the UK cuts itself adrift, and abandons seven decades of European peace and co-operation, Brexit poses an external challenge for Ireland, the likes of which we have not seen since the oil crises in the 1970s.

“The scale of this challenge is why we have been immersed in the technical detail, to find ways to stop Brexit, if we can, but at least to save as many jobs and businesses as possible. And let there be no doubt, a second referendum resulting in the UK remaining inside the EU would be in Ireland’s national interest.

“The jobs most at risk are those in food industries and tourism, and other exporters into Britain. These jobs are more important to rural Ireland and small towns, where all or most of the main employers could be in food or tourism.

“Labour will strive for the best outcome for workers and families. And our friends in the British Labour Party are fully informed of Ireland’s concerns. But we must be prepared for challenging times ahead.

“Above all, we must be ready to endure months of a ‘no deal’ Brexit in order to reach a sustainable and mutually-benefitial future relationship between the EU and UK. There is a real risk that settling for any deal, at any price, would cost Ireland more in the long-term.”

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