– We already have Statutory Committees and Organisations which could be used as a forum to discuss the impact of Brexit –

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth and East Meath Declan Breathnach as spokesperson on North South Bodies and Cross Border Co-Operation has once again called for an all-Ireland approach to the post Brexit situation that all of us on this Island face.

“As part of that process and as vice chair of the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement I sought the participation of those who have as a right to attend the Joint Committee meeting to do so. I suggested that if the venue of such meetings (being held at Leinster House) is an issue for these politicians then we should reach out and hold plenary meetings at a mutually agreed venue.”

“I find it difficult to reconcile that many of those who appear to boycott the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement have consistently attended both the British Irish Parliamentary Association and the British Irish Association and engaged on many non-contentious issues.”

“To this end I wrote to an Taoiseach Enda Kenny in July this year suggesting that a mechanism for an all-inclusive engagement should be the beefing up of these bodies where all sides participate. The Taoiseach as was his right chose to start this process of dialogue by holding an “All Ireland Civil Dialogue on Brexit which is being held tomorrow and which I feel privileged to be a participant on behalf of Fianna Fáil.”

“Stakeholder participation and engagement North and South is paramount in order to ensure that all strands and participant’s views on Brexit be heard in this all Island approach. The event is part of a series of consultation that Government is undertaking and will be augmented by a series of stakeholder round table discussions on the Brexit implications at a sectoral level and on an all Island basis”.

“All parties North and South should be cognisant of the importance of dialogue and co-operation. The joined political approach of bodies like East Border Region, the Memorandum of Understanding between Louth and Down Councils is testament to how progress on an all Island approach ensures a seamless approach in promoting the Regions both North and South.”
“As a border politician I have learned that Dundalk’s benefit in job creation is also Newry’s and vice versa.”
The Brexit challenges facing these islands are far too important for nuanced stances that might be regretted if we fail to embrace the opportunities to see both the impact in the South or indeed the North but especially to minimise the trade implications by not ensuring that the communities, businesses and peoples who will feel it most along the border are listened to by all politicians regardless of our view on the wider picture, Unionist or Nationalist.”
“This issue is bigger that any one person, politician or political hue”.
“The importance of facing each other, engaging in dialogue to see how we can resolve the many challenges of Brexit for all on this Island is so important”.
“With this in mind, Fianna Fáil are also organising a National Conference on Brexit being held on Saturday 12th November in the Carrickdale Hotel, Dundalk. Admission is free but registration is necessary by emailing dundalkconference@fiannafail.ie.”

-Ends-

Johanna Walsh, Office of Declan Breathnach T.D., Leinster House, Dublin 2

(T) 01 6183549 (Email) declan.breathnach@oireachtas.ie