‘Ulster will lose €3.5 billion in the case of Brexit’

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has claimed Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland could lose at least €3.5 billion in the case of a Brexit.

Speaking at an event in Coleraine on the potential economic implications of a vote to leave, she said: “The correct strategic position from a republican and democratic perspective is to critically engage and reform the EU from within its structures.

“That is the best way to challenge the narrow, ideological, conservative and anti-democratic opposition to a social Europe. The strategic and political implications of Brexit run entirely counter to Irish national interests.

“Sinn Féin has a very clear position on a Brexit: we oppose it because the north is a net beneficiary of EU funding and the constituency we care most about is our own. The truth is that the North will suffer considerably in the event of a Brexit.

“Initially, the combined financial loss of EU investment, subsidies and funds to the north of Ireland, and the southern border counties, arising from a Brexit would be in the region of at least €3.5 billion.

“Additionally, the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) report stated that in the event of Brexit, trade with the South of Ireland would suffer hugely and the economic output in the North would decrease by at least five per cent.

“Moreover, just this week, the 3rd Sector Index created by Ulster Bank stated that ¾ of the 3rd sector companies - social enterprises, charities and community organisations - have major concerns about the impact of a Brexit on their business.

“Furthermore, the investment bank Credit Suisse assessed that BREXIT would trigger a snap recession prompted by a fall in share prices.

“The negative economic implications for the people of the North are very serious.”