Thursday 24 August 2017

Border in the Irish Sea is 'only solution'

The group has calculated that if hauliers have to stop their journey for even just 10 minutes, it will cost the haulage industry €150m a year in wasted time. Stock picture
The group has calculated that if hauliers have to stop their journey for even just 10 minutes, it will cost the haulage industry €150m a year in wasted time. Stock picture
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

Pushing the Border out into the Irish Sea is the only viable Brexit solution, a cross-Border action group has warned.

Border Communities Against Brexit is even against the idea of an electronic border, maintaining that once it is introduced at all, "tension will increase".

"The biggest thing of all is to protect the Good Friday Agreement," said JJ O'Hara from Leitrim, one of the founders of Border Communities Against Brexit.

He believes that if the Border goes back up, peace in the North will be put under real threat, warning: "There are people who won't take it."

He claims that there is not a single aspect of life along the Border that will remain untouched by Brexit.

House prices along the Border will be hit by 30pc to 40pc, he believes. Cattle prices have already been hit by around €150 to €200 a head because of Brexit, said Mr O'Hara.

Losses

Meanwhile, the tourism industry - which was up 26pc in the North last year, and up 14pc along the Border regions - will suffer unknown losses, he said.

"Tourism Ireland markets the island as a whole and it is the second biggest industry in the country, so this will be a major concern.

"At the moment, almost everyone is doing the 360 degrees of Ireland. That will change," he said.

There will be other Brexit problems, said Mr O'Hara. The group has calculated that if hauliers have to stop their journey for even just 10 minutes, it will cost the haulage industry €150m a year in wasted time.

The group is currently working on ramping up protests to highlight its concerns, which it believes are being ignored by the rest of the country.

"The reality is we'll have to wake people up. This will be very real on the ground," warned Mr O'Hara.

Irish Independent

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