Patsy McGlone MLA for Mid Ulster

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Assembly Questions

Patsy McGlone 10th April 2017

McGlone: North Risks Failure to Prepare for Brexit

SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster Patsy McGlone has warned that, without an Executive in place, Northern Ireland will fall further behind in the preparations for the impact of Brexit. The Mid Ulster MLA is part of the SDLP team taking part in discussions at Stormont on restoring the Executive.

Mr McGlone said, “Since the referendum vote last year, the last Executive of Sinn Féin and the DUP failed to make any meaningful preparations for the impact of Brexit.

“The British Government has been pre-occupied with formulating a negotiating position that can hold the various factions of the Tory party together.

“During the same period of time the Irish Government has been working on risk assessment and putting in place contingency planning for Brexit across all departments.

“As a result the rest of this island is streets ahead of the North in terms of preparing for the impact of Brexit.

“NI civil servants may have drafted speculative reports on areas of concern, but they await Ministers in office to make policy decisions based on those reports.

“If an Executive is not restored through the current talks then we will fall further behind in the preparations for Brexit.

“Any decisions which are then made will be made by a British Government that will have other priorities than the impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland.

“Our society and our economy need locally elected representatives in the Executive to make the decisions required to navigate the challenges that are ahead, and being held accountable for those decisions in the Assembly.

“The SDLP is ready and willing to do that. The outcome of the current talks will show whether other parties are.”