19 Meitheamh 2017
The Ireland South MEP made the comments today as she addressed the full plenary session of Kerry County Council in Tralee.
“It is already accepted that Brexit will have huge political and economic ramifications for Ireland.
“All levels of Government and all politicians must be aware of the risks we face and we must all work together to ameliorate those risks.
“Our agri-food and export industries, that rely so heavily on all-Ireland trade and on the British market, will be hit.
“We may yet witness the re-imposition of a hard border on our island, bringing with it hardship for workers, barriers to trade and a very physical manifestation of partition.
“Brexit is not just an issue for the north of Ireland or for those who export to Britain.
“Our road transport links to Europe, via Britain, will become more complicated, as will our processes for welcoming tourists to our country.
“On the Budgets Committee I can see the huge gap that will be left in the European Union’s finances when Britain departs, which will lead to cuts to EU programmes in Ireland, including potential cuts to CAP.
“We must be united in dealing with 26 other member-states and with Britain in the negotiations that begin today.
“We must call for special-designated status within the EU for the north of Ireland. We must convince other EU Governments that a fair, sustainable and mutually beneficial agreement is the preferred outcome, and we must build relationships with those in British politics who are against a Tory Brexit that pits Little England against the world.
“With political vision and unity of purpose we can overcome the challenges posed by Brexit. “