Government warned not to sell rural Ireland down the river over Brexit

Government warned not to sell rural Ireland down the river over Brexit

Offaly Express Reporter

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John Leahy

Renua leader and Offaly County Councillor John Leahy

Offaly County Councillor and Renua Party Leader John Leahy has warned the government that rural Ireland will not accept being 'sold down the river to fund Britain’s divorce from the EU’.

Cllr Leahy compared the government's management of the situation to a man chasing after a bus which has just closed its door and started to move off.

"We need something more substantial to deal with this threat than an evolving document," he stated emphatically. "We need something far more definitive and far clearer lines of communication."

He said that in particular, the government must clarify what it means about 'multiple challenges', 'crisis management' and 'possible temporary solutions'.

He continued, "they are describing inevitable consequences rather than the actions required to avoid and mitigate those consequences. This, again, is governance on a wing and a prayer. We are gravely concerned over the consequences for rural Ireland. There is a real threat to Irish farming that all the gains from accession will be reversed."

Cllr Leahy said that farming should not be left to 'wither and die' behind high tariff walls. He also said that he was concerned that as part of remedying serious security deficits at ports and at the border, the security infrastructure of rural Ireland would be hollowed out.

"A no-deal Brexit poses existential challenges across society, macroeconomic challenges, trade Agriculture and fuel security implications for us all. RENUA Ireland warns that rural Ireland will not accept being sold down the river to pay the Brexit Bill. The Ministers of Agriculture, Justice and Rural and Communications must come together now to build confidence and issue a Brexit guarantee for rural Ireland. The situation where Rural Ireland becomes an island in an island must not be allowed escalate or develop by neglect," he concluded.