'Anything which would bring a land barrier between north and south would be a disaster'
Published 20/05/2016 | 02:30
A Brexit would be a "disaster" for Northern Ireland, former Irish ambassador to the UK Dáithí O'Ceallaigh has warned.
Mr O'Ceallaigh, who served as ambassador between 2001 and 2007, said any reimposition of a border would have negative consequences.
"Anything which would prevent or lessen the interconnection for people north or south would not be good for the people of the north, and it would not be good for the people of the south," he said at the IIEA conference yesterday.
"If there is a Brexit, one way or another, there would be some reimposition of customs. Anything like that which would bring a land barrier between north and south would be a disaster." He said the future of Northern Ireland exists in the close co-operation between London and Dublin, under the European umbrella.
"Should Britain leave that umbrella, I'm fearful," he said.
Former European Commissioner Peter Sutherland, inset, said a British exit from Europe would be "devastating" to whole sectors of the community in the North.
Although he didn't specifically name the DUP, he said he was amazed that the party was so "imbued with a sense of exceptionalism that it is in favour apparently of Brexit".