Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle calls on Barnier to represent Donegal as ‘special case’ during Brexit negotiations

1st stage Economic, social cultural rights 2016

Press Release – May 11th, 2017

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Responding to Chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier’s speech in the Dáil today, Deputy Pringle urged him to take into consideration Donegal’s special case as the UK leaves the EU.

“Three main issues make Donegal a special case throughout Brexit negotiations.  Our extensive border with Northern Ireland impacts on us in many ways. 33,000 people cross the border every day for work or studies which means we need to see the future preservation of the common travel area to this region.

“Not only does the common travel area affect movement of people but also our fishing industry. Over 35% of Irish quota that Irish fishermen catch is caught in UK waters so the continued access for fishermen to the fishing grounds is vital. This must be negotiated alongside any discussions on trade. Michel Barnier was Minister for Fishing in France so he should understand what’s at stake here.

“In terms of health, recent developments in access to cancer care particularly cross border access to Altnagelvin in Derry means Donegal could be considerably affected if common travel was severed or in any way jeopardised by the Brexit process.

“I believe any impact from Brexit can be minimalised so long as negotiations represent the Irish people’s interests effectively. However, in my opinion from the outset, the EU does not have a history of keeping the interests of Irish people at heart which is why I have urged Barnier to take into account Donegal’s special case and represent the people’s interests effectively throughout the Brexit negotiation process” concludes Pringle.

ENDS

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