‘Six Counties is a sink hole Brexit or not’ claim is greeted with ‘The sun still shines in Northern Ireland’

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It’s been claimed the North is “a sink hole” and will remain so regardless of what type of Brexit is realised and that politicians should be pushing for a “32 county socialist republic”.

Independent Councillor Paul Gallagher’s assertion was dismissed by UUP Alderman Derek Hussey, however, who stated: “The sun still shines on Northern Ireland”.

The difference of opinion occurred between the Governance & Strategic Planning Committe members after Derry City & Strabane District Council’s Lead Assurance Officer, Denise McDonnell, provided councillors with an update on Brexit ‘Day One Readiness’.

Ms. McDonnell said officers were working with 10 other councils to ensure services continue unhindered when the UK leaves the EU in seven weeks.

Colr. Gallagher said: “The Six Counties will be a sink hole in whatever amount of days, and whatever happens with Brexit. We should be pushing for a 32 county socialist republic.”

Sinn Féin’s Mickey Cooper responded: “We’ve no problem with that.”

But Ald. Hussey remarked: “The sun still shines in NI.”

“Not very often unfortunately,” quipped SDLP Colr. Brian Tierney.

SDLP Colr. Sinead McLaughlin observed that it was “very difficult to plan for Day One.”

“We are 52 days out and I’m very concerned the civil service is at the early stages of preparedness,” she said.

She blamed the main parties for failing to agree the restoration of power-sharing over the past 2 years.

But Colr. Cooper responded: “I’m not listening to that rubbish.”

He said his party colleage Martina Anderson MEP was providing a leading voice in Brussels and Strasbourg and had helped place ‘special status’ for he North at the centre of the debate among her fellow European parliamentarians.