IRISH Minister for European Affairs Helen McEntee heard the concerns regarding Brexit from business people, political representatives and other interested parties from across Tyrone at a seminar in the Glenavon Hotel in Cookstown last Tuesday.
Mid Ulster MLA Patsy McGlone also addressed the audience at the event organised by the SDLP.
Among those in attendance were MLAs Pat Catney and John Dallat from Lagan Valley and East Derry respectively, Mid Ulster councillors
Malachy Quinn and Christine McFlynn as well as local people and members from the business community from along the border.
Minister McEntee provided an update on Brexit with a particular emphasis on the economy, agriculture, funding programmes and citizen’s rights. During her talk she expressed the Irish government’s welcome of the recommitment by the British Prime Minister on Friday week past that there will be no return to a hard border on the island of Ireland.
There was also a question and answer session and several times the Irish Minister gave an assurance that her government is “working in the best interests of the entire island of Ireland”.
Speaking after the event, Patsy McGlone said, “Brexit is the single biggest constitutional and economic earthquake to hit this island for a generation.
As negotiations between the British Government and the European Commission continue, the threat of a hard border in Ireland and the impact that would have on our communities, our economy and our political dispensation loom large.
“It is very important that we are represented in negotiations and kept informed by the Irish government.
“The only people we can rely on to be at the negotiating table is the Irish government as the British position waivers and changes like the wind.
“Brexit is an issue we could be doing without but the general population of England led us into this mess and we have to work our way through it. Brexit threatens business, travel rights and citizen rights and Minister McEntee listened to the concerns of the people.”
Mr McGlone also pointed out that the effect of Brexit is a concern for many in the Mid Ulster area.
He explained, “The issues relating to the agriculture and the agri-food sector with regarding factories in this area were also highlighted as well as other businesses and the export of goods. It is important the voice of the North is being heard.