BORDER communities have “serious concerns” that they’ll be left to “fend for themselves” post-Brexit, according to a new report by TDs and Senators.
The Oireachtas Rural Development Committee has recommended that the government seeks agreement from the EU and the UK to allow for continued access to funding for cross-border cooperation.
It has also recommended that businesses in border counties immediately draw up strategies to be implemented post-Brexit which will protect current cross-border business arrangements.
And it suggests that the eleven local authorities on both sides of the border develop North-South tourism strategies for the region.
The measures are contained in a report entitled ‘Brexit and the Border: The Impact on Rural Communities’.
It comes after a series of meetings between the committee and representatives from border areas.
The report says: “The UK and Irish governments need to acknowledge at the highest levels the serious concerns within the communities and within those organisations working on their behalf that notwithstanding all the talk about the border , they will be left to fend for themselves”.
The committee’s main recommendation centres on continued access to EU funding for the region after Brexit.
It calls for the government to seek agreement with the EU and UK for a mechanism to allow Northern Ireland continued access to EU funding programmes of relevance to cross border co-operation.
In the report’s preface, committee chairman, Fine Gael TD Joe Carey, says that from the day of the Brexit referendum its members were concerned that the unintended consequence would be the risk that the border region would suffer “a loss of funding and support, with the possible return of a ‘hard border’ with all that entails.”