Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

British government views on EU Referendum out of sync with people of the North - Flanagan

Published: 22 February, 2016

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has said the views of the British government on the EU Referendum are out of sync with the majority of people in the North.

Mr Flanagan said:

"The majority of people living in rural areas or along the border in Fermanagh & South Tyrone are strongly opposed to the proposal to leave the European Union.

"Membership of the EU has been of considerable benefit to rural and border communities in recent years.

"Farmers have gained significantly through the Single Farm Payment Scheme and other funds from the Common Agricultural Policy.

"Community and voluntary groups have received millions of pounds in funding from the various Peace funds, Rural Development Funds and the European Social Fund to tackle disadvantage and division.

"Our infrastructure, including roads, telecoms and waterways as well as tourism and health care facilities have all been upgraded as a result of the availability of European Regional Development and Interreg funding streams from Europe.

"There is no chance that an austerity driven Tory government would replace all of that funding.

"Places like Fermanagh & South Tyrone have benefitted enormously by membership of the European Union.

"The north leaving the European Union would undoubtedly led to a reinforcement of the border and greater restrictions on the movement of people, livestock and goods from one part of this island to the other. This would inevitably present considerable economic and societal problems.

"The British government's views on this are completely out of sync with the majority of people across the North, particularly in rural and border areas."