Alliance Brexit spokesperson Stephen Farry MLA has said the risk of the local economy contracting is being heightened by hardline Brexiteers being allowed to set the agenda.
Dr Farry was speaking following reports the Government’s EU Exit Analysis – Cross Whitehall Briefing – indicated the Northern Ireland economy could contract by 12 per cent over the next 15 years in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
He added the risk of that scenario was also increased by the current brinkmanship of the UK Government, leading to a possible catastrophic impact.
“It is important to remember Northern Ireland is already starting in a worse economic position than other regions due to our legacy of division and violence. These figures also do not take into account the impact of a hard border and the wider impact on the Good Friday Agreement and the fabric of Northern Ireland society.
“This should be taken as a major reality check for the UK Government. This is the work commissioned from their own experts. The sobering evidence is one of drastic consequences for the UK as a whole, but in particular for the most disadvantaged regions.
“It shows the risks the Government are taking through their current brinkmanship and allowing hardline Brixeteers in the Conservative Party and DUP to set the agenda.
“At present, with the UK Government potentially reneging on the commitments made in the EU-UK Joint Report at the conclusion of Phase One of the Brexit negotiations, the likelihood of a hard Brexit or no deal Brexit is much greater. The Government urgently needs to reconsider its stance on the Single Market and Customs Union, either for the UK as a whole or for Northern Ireland specifically.”