Border ‘not simply a line on a map’

Tanaiste Simon Coveney speaking at the City Hotel in Derry on Wednesday.
Tanaiste Simon Coveney speaking at the City Hotel in Derry on Wednesday.

The North West is a ‘petri dish of post-Brexit possibilities’, Derry’s Chamber of Commerce President Jennifer McKeever has told Tánaiste Simon Coveney during his visit to Derry.

In her address, Mrs. McKeever commended Minister Coveney and his colleagues for their efforts in ‘defending’ the Good Friday Agreement and standing firm on why there can be no hard border on the island.

She explained the “depth of the frustration and patience” of local businesses during the last two years of Brexit uncertainty.

She highlighted the “tragic irony” that Northern Ireland has no government right at the time when an “enormous feat of co-operation and collaboration” by the parties is necessary.

“There are lessons for politicians to learn from the business community,” she said. “You set goals and then you make clear to your team how you are going to achieve them. You co-operate with the people you work with to achieve those goals. You insist that people who work together show respect to one another and to the people they serve. No matter how tough it gets, you have to keep going. You can’t afford to abdicate your leadership,” she said.

The Chamber President said it’s hard for people in the North West to contemplate the creation of “any kind” of border.

“The Irish Border for us is not simply a line on a map - it’s a part of how we live and trade every day,” she said.