Lochside Garage

Local businesses already moving as Brexit near


AS Theresa May prepares to start the formal process of taking the UK out of the EU, it has emerged local businesses are moving across the border ahead of Brexit.
Speaking about the potential consequences of Brexit on Fermanagh’s border communities, Seamus Carolan, manager of Roslea Enterprise Centre said people were worried about the future of the village.
“People are very apprehensive,” said Seamus Carolan, manager of Roslea Enterprise Centre, who said the village was already by badly hit by the upcoming closure of St Eugene’s school, the relocation of the post office, and the possible future closure of the health centre.
“We’ll be on a land border between the UK and the rest of the world, but Roslea has very little influence in all of this. Fermanagh has very little influence, Northern Ireland has very little influence,” he said.
“I know business people who are buying property in Co Monaghan so they can get an EU stamp,  not that there are that many businesses left in Roslea,” he added, stating there had been a big investment in poultry farming locally and those involved in egg production could be particularly badly hit by Brexit.
Meanwhile, as worries continue at home, a delegation from the Border Communities Against Brexit lobby group travelled to Brussels where they met with key EU officials last week where they put forward the case for special status for the North, which would include remaining in the Customs Union.
Lisbellaw-based priest Fr Joe McVeigh is a member of the group, and while he didn’t travel out to Brussels himself, he said the intention of the trip was to let decision makers aware that a return to a hard border in places like Fermanagh would not be tolerated.
Fr McVeigh said the impending triggering of Article 50, which will see the Brexit negotiations commence, only served “to make us more focused and determined” for the North to be given special status, which would include remaining in the Customs Union.
“The North is a special case, no matter what they say,” he said, adding an open border was vital for the protection of the peace process and the economy.
Fr McVeigh added it “isn’t up to Theresa May” on whether the North is given special status, but rather the other member states of the EU, including the Irish government.
“They can have the border at the ports and airports, not a land border that is going to cause so much destruction to people’s lives, and to travel and trade, just when the economy is only getting back on its feet.
“Any economic future for Ireland north and south is within Europe,” he said, explaining Brexit was a “hugely significant” issue in the recent Assembly election and would become an even bigger issue as time went on.
“London will have to listen to us, and Europe will have to listen,” he said. “We’re certainly not going away.”

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