South East 'distinctly exposed' to Brexit impact - Waterford TD
Waterford TD and Sinn Féin Brexit spokesperson David Cullinane TD has said his party "will engage constructively" with the Brexit Omnibus Bill which was published this morning and "will seek to strengthen it where possible."
The Waterford TD said it must be recognised that the Bill is "the bare minimum necessary to protect the economy and access to services and that more is needed, especially in capital investment, supports for businesses, and the rights of citizens in the north."
Deputy Cullinane said: “This Bill is the bare minimum, a ‘steady-state’ solution, which does not plan for the economic consequences of a hard crash.
“It does not deal with the realities that many businesses and citizens will find themselves in. Sinn Féin has set out a €2bn Brexit investment fund. Our proposals are in addition to those already announced by the government."
“We need to support the region’s and the South East is distinctly exposed to any Brexit shock. We need to invest in Waterford and Rosslare Ports, roll out broadband in rural areas, invest in Waterford Airport and put in place practical and tangible supports for SME’s, particularly exporters and the Agri-food sector," he said.
“We believe in a dual strategy for dealing with a no-deal Brexit. The first is to mitigate its effects in the short-term through state measures, and second to overcome the disruption through medium to long-term investment in capital and social infrastructure."
“Brexit does not just affect business; it affects communities and people as well and any Brexit strategy worth its salt needs to reflect and address this reality. This holds whether there is a deal or not."
“We will engage constructively with this legislation and will seek to strengthen it where we can. We will also be seeking clarifications on some matters to ensure that the Bill is fit for purpose and adequately addresses the full range of issues thrown up by a no-deal Brexit," Deputy Cullinane said.
“While we will not be seeking to delay any necessary legislation, we will not be giving the Government a blank cheque. We will ensure that Ireland’s interests and the rights of citizens in the North are fully protected at this crucial time," he concluded.