Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said it is possible to rescue the joint bid for Derry and Belfast to be named as European Capital of Culture. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The news that the joint bid by Derry and Strabane District Council and Belfast City Council for European Capital of Culture status was rejected as a result of Brexit was very disappointing after so much hard work by both councils and others. 

“Unfortunately, it provided yet another example of how damaging the Tory Brexit agenda is for all of the people of the north. 

“But it does not mean that the bid is finished; it is still rescuable. 

“If the British government make a declaration to the EU that the north can stay in the customs union and single market then the bid could continue. 

“We also need to explore options with the Irish government to see if they can take this bid forward under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and the bodies it established. 

“I have also written to the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsis, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the bid. 

“All of this shows the absolute necessity to secure special status for the north within the EU.”