Council to act as lobby group against Brexit

FERMANAGH and Omagh District Council (FODC) have agreed to work as a “lobby group” to protect border communities in the run up to and after Brexit. 
A report was delivered at a meeting of the Council’s Regeneration and Community Committee in Omagh last week on the research the Council has been carrying out on the impact Brexit will have on the area. 
In it, it the value of the cross-border economy was valued in the region of €3 billion, with the agri-food sector worth around €1.4 billion of that trade. It also pointed out that EU funding for the border corridor was worth upwards of €5 billion until 2020, which included CAP payments, peace funding, and development funding. 
This report concluded that FODC should work with other councils on both sides of the border, such as Derry City and Strabane DC, Cavan County Council and Donegal County Council, as a collective lobby group for the border area. 
It was recommended “that while they have competing interests and will seek to maximise opportunities, all councils accept that some of the weakest economies on the island of Ireland are those economies along the border and, as such, will be most in need of protection against the negative impacts of Brexit.” 
The report, carried out by FODC director of regeneration and planning Alison McCullagh, also recommended the councils work with Inter-Trade Ireland and all relevant Government departments in the coming months, and to continue to gather information and monitor the situation. 
It was concluded that the councils should hold one or more cross-council seminars to inform councillors and members of chambers of commerce on the results of the research, and to gather opinions to use in their lobbying. 

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