MEP Martina Anderson says Europe is listening as border lobbyists bang on Brussels’ door

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson says Europe is listening carefully to the message of grassroots campaigners who are on a visit to Brussels this week to warn of the devastating impact Brexit and a hard border will have on communities from Derry to Dundalk.

The Derry-based MEP is facilitating an ongoing visit by lobbyists to the European capital.

Ms. Anderson said: “We met with representatives from leading groups in the European Parliament to discuss the disastrous impact Brexit would have on Ireland and on border communities in particular.

“There is an awareness in Europe of the unique circumstances we face and the impact Brexit would have.

“We also met with MEPs from Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and representatives of the Irish government in Brussels and impressed on them the need for the Irish government to act in the national interest of all Irish citizens under the Good Friday Agreement.”

Declan Fearon, from Border Communities Against Brexit, was among nine delegates who took part.

He said the mission impressed upon the decision makers in the European Commission and the European Parliament that they “will not tolerate a hard border on the island of Ireland”.

“The prospect of a new EU frontier, stretching from Dundalk to Derry, some 300 miles, is not acceptable to those of us living and working in border areas, North of South,” he said.

“We are being taken out of the European Union against our will, 56 per cent of the North’s population voted to Remain.

“Europe has had a tremendous positive impact on the North’s economy and social cohesion for decades, 60 per cent of our exports are sent to Europe (two thirds of this to the South), while 72 per cent of our imports come from Europe,” he added.