Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the best interests of the business community will not be served by leaving the European Union.
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Irish government should challenge the Presidency of the Council of the European Union to respect the democratic mandate of the people of the North.
Ms Anderson said;
“The British government has now announced it is withdrawing from its planned presidency of the Council of the European Union which is due to begin in mid 2017.
“It is not yet clear who will replace them but whichever member state takes up the role they need to recognise and respect the democratic vote of the majority of people in the North to remain in the EU.
“The Irish government in particular has a role to play in engaging with both the existing and incoming presidencies to ensure the views of the people of the North are respected.
“We can’t allow the votes of people in England to dictate our future.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed moves by Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir to speed up access to EU funding.
Ms Anderson said;
“I am pleased that my party colleague and Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has taken steps to sped up access to Peace IV and Interreg funding.
“As an MEP I regularly meet with groups who access these funding streams and one of their major concerns is the level of bureaucracy around accessing funding.
“By increasing the delegated authority level from £2million to £5million, the Finance Minister has shortened the approval process.
“Access to EU funding is vital for many groups across the North and it is essential we improve access to and retain this key opportunity.
“The people of the North made it clear that they want to remain in the EU and that vote must be recognised.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said being dragged out of the EU would have a serious impact on the North’s universities.
Ms Anderson said;
“Huge opportunities exist in the European Union for our universities, particularly through the Horizon 2020 funding programme.
“This funding stream supports research and development initiatives and universities across the island have benefited from it.
“Many of the funding opportunities require partnership working with other institutions across the EU and there is a growing reluctance to enter into such arrangements as a result of the EU referendum result.
“If we are dragged out of the EU by the British government then funding which has supported important projects such as cancer treatment breakthroughs and the advances made by CTRIC in Derry could be lost.
“The people of the North voted to remain in the EU and that must be recognised and respected.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the democratic rights of the people of the North must be respected.
Speaking at a public meeting in Cookstown, Ms Anderson said;
“Partition damaged the Six-County economy and the North has been impoverished by the Union with Britain.
“As if that is not bad enough, with Brexit the economy in the North will continue to suffer.
“Brexit will reinforce partition, damage all Ireland trade and close the gateway for businesses to 500 million customers.
“The people of the North voted to reject Tory plans to leave the EU. Our vote must be respected.
“We did not give our consent to be dragged out of the EU – or consent to a hokey cokey Ireland with one part in and the other part out.
“Brexit will damage Ireland more than anywhere else – and those that say otherwise are living in cloud cuckoo land – but it’s not a done deal and we must use the space that exists to demand our democratic rights.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said continued access to European Union funding is vital for rural communities.
Speaking at the opening of the Mullabouy community centre outside Derry, Ms Anderson said;
“In the current uncertainty we are faced with following the EU referendum groups are left in a position that they don’t know if future funding will be available if the people of the north are dragged out of Europe against our will.
“Rural communities in particular have benefited from access to EU funding. It is vital that access continues and the democratic rights of the people of the North are respected.
“A collective partnership approach to developing and supporting rural communities, tackling rural isolation and promoting the rural economy is required.
“I want to congratulate the Lettershandoney and District Development Group for their approach to partnership with Derry and Strabane District Council, the Housing Executive, DARD and now DAERA that has resulted in this wonderful new centre which will be a real asset to the community.”