‘Parties must work together to mitigate Brexit disaster’ – Murphy

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Tuesday, July 5th, 2016
Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has urged all parties in the Assembly to work together to find a way forward following the EU referendum. MurphyardSpeaking during a debate on the referendum result in the Assembly the Newry MLA said it was the responsibility of the parties to put aside their feelings on the outcome and work with Scotland and the south to find a way to steer the north through the coming uncertainty. “I am very pleased to get the chance to speak in this debate,” he said. “There is quite a lot of political difference already on the issues that were debated and the outcome of the referendum. One thing that does unify us is that we are left with an impending mess as a consequence of the vote that was taken last Thursday. “It is the responsibility of all of us to try to navigate our way out of the mess we find ourselves in. Whether one accepts the result of the referendum or not, had the vote been to remain in Europe we would not face the huge degree of uncertainty and potential difficulty that we now face. “Regardless of whether people wanted to leave or stay, we are now presented with a serious political, economic and social difficulty that we have to chart our way through. There is no clarity from those who led the “Leave” campaign or, indeed, the British Government on how we will navigate our way through this political upheaval.
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July 2016Murphy continued, “At a local level — I was involved in the campaign in my constituency — constituents are angry and bewildered. They are angry that their future and their children’s future will be decided not by themselves but by people living on a neighbouring island. “That democratic deficit and lack of self-determination is clearly another story that we will return to. In my area, Newry and Dundalk were two busy ports and market towns located centrally on the east coast of Ireland with a shared hinterland pre partition. “Their economic potential was sundered by partition and surrendered for the best part of 70 years. It was only with the advent of the single market and with specific European funds designed to remove the hard border and deal with the negative impact of partition — funds like INTERREG, Peace, the European social fund and some of the rural development programmes — that communities in that border area began to recover and look forward with some optimism to a better economic future, having been on the periphery of two states for so long. They are fearful now and somewhat bewildered about their future,” he insisted. “We have a responsibility collectively, regardless of our position in the referendum campaign or of how we see its outcome and in the absence of any sense of direction from London, to chart the best course for the people we represent to give clarity and some direction. The local MLA added, “That involves not just the Executive — obviously, the Executive have a key role in that, and I look forward to hearing from the First Minister later and, no doubt, other Ministers as the days and weeks progress — but the Opposition and all of us, because we have a collective responsibility in this institution. “In the absence of any sense of clarity and direction elsewhere, the people of the Six Counties certainly and those across Ireland are looking for some direction here and, indeed, in Dublin.”
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