‘Prospect of drivers’ permit lunacy’ – McNulty

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Wednesday, March 14th, 2018

SDLP MLA for Newry and Armagh Justin McNulty has expressed his astonishment at revelations that Northern Ireland and UK Driving Licences may not be automatically valid in the Republic of Ireland after the UK leave the European Union.

Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty said, “It’s almost two years after the UK vote to leave the European Union and now the lunacy of the decision is really starting to hit home for some people.



“The European Commission has said Brexit would bring an end to mutual recognition of driving licences between the UK and the EU. Whilst this might seem as some little technicality that might not impact on many in England, Scotland and Wales, it will have a major impact for those of us who live and work and travel on the island of Ireland.

“Cross-border travel is a frequent and often daily occurrence for many of us living here, especially in border communities. Many local people travel south for their work and for leisure, and now even going to work or to a game in Clones or Croke Park could potentially be fraught with difficulty.



“This really shows up the lunacy Brexit will bring. Some are suggesting a permit will be required to allow us ‘northerners’ to drive in the south. Even by suggesting this, the policing of such a crazy move would necessitate border checks,” he insisted.

“Brexit is the most complex political challenge facing this island for many generations and if someone in Whitehall doesn’t soon realise the impact on everyday life here, we are going to be stuck in some sort of economic and social backwater.”



“I have written to the Tánaiste Simon Coveney TD and have asked that this issue is raised with both the European Commission and the UK Government.

The local MLA added, “Simple issues such as this will make life very difficult for all of us in border communities and especially those people employed on a cross-border basis. This issue must we swiftly addressed.”



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