Report underscores devastating effect of Brexit, claims Catney

Pat Catney MLA, SDLP
Pat Catney MLA, SDLP

Lagan Valley MLA Pat Catney has said the House of Lords EU Committee’s ‘Brexit: devolution’ report “once again underscores the devastating effect that Brexit will have on Northern Ireland.”

The committee has been examining the potential impact of Brexit on the UK’s devolved institutions. And its report, published on July 19, says Northern Ireland will be “profoundly affected” by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.

Mr Catney believes the report highlights the urgent need for ongoing engagement with local parties in the absence of a functioning Executive.

“This report adds to the growing volume of analysis that clearly acknowledges the immense challenge posed to the Northern Ireland economy, to manufacturing, to our agri-food and fishing industries and to North/South working by Brexit,” the SDLP man said.

“At a time when stability and assured political leadership is needed, we are drowning in a sea of instability. With no Executive, no functioning Assembly, no nationalist MPs taking a seat at Westminster and now the pervasive influence of the DUP on the British government – the North’s strong pro-Europe voice risks being silenced. That cannot happen.”

Mr Catney added: “Northern Ireland’s unique circumstances demand special consideration throughout the negotiations. The best way to ensure that happens is through functioning institutions, but in their absence the British government must engage fully with all local parties, not just the Brexiteers in the DUP.”