£700m PEACE money jeopardised by ‘Brexit’, warns Murphy

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Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016
Newry MLA Conor Murphy has warned that the north could lose out on £700m of European funding specifically targeted at communities coming out of conflict and integration projects in the event of Britain ‘dragging the north out of the EU’. MurphyardThe Sinn Fein MLA made the claim, referring to European PEACE and INTERREG funding, during an Assembly debate on EU Funding with Finance Minister Mervyn Storey. “I am sure the Minister will agree that that almost £700 million is a remarkable amount of money,” he said. “It has been spent here and in the border counties on this programme alone and does not include other EU funding that is available to the Executive. The Peace funding has clearly been designed to help a society coming out of conflict and to address our infrastructure deficit in the border areas. “Will the Minister offer suggestions as to how such funding would be achieved in the future if his party’s wish to leave the European Union comes to pass in June?” The Minister said he thought the British Government would meet the shortfall, a confidence Mr Murphy insisted he did not share.
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10131 Longwalk Campaign Newry Times_2 400pxX400 v02The Newry representative also echoed Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness’ call for a border poll in the event of Britain voting to leave the EU. “Ireland’s place north and south is in Europe and leading change in Europe. “If Britain votes to leave the European Union then that could have huge implications for the entire island of Ireland and, given all the predictions, would run counter to the democratic wishes of the Irish people. Such a negative development would represent a political and economic game changer. “If there is a vote in Britain to leave the EU there is a democratic imperative to provide Irish citizens with the right to vote in a Border Poll to end partition and retain a role in the EU. The Good Friday Agreement provides for a border poll to be conducted with Britain bound to legislate for any change arising,” Murphy added.
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