Border controls returning to the North in the event of Britain exiting the European Union would have highly negative impact on business in the north west according to a leading business spokesperson.
CEO of Letterkenny Chamber, Toni Forretser, said the suggested proposal in a new British Government report that could see the return of border patrolsm would be highly detrimental to the region.
Dubbed “Brexit”, the UK report said they questions of trade and the “common travel area” between the North and the Republic would have to be addressed.
The Chamber CEO responded: “Some of us remember them (border patrols) and we do not want border controls. I don’t believe it is no way the north west could run efficiency with border patrols. There is enough trade barriers anyway, so we do not want to put up real barriers to any perceived barriers. We already have the two currencies and we do not want anything more that will hamper trade along the border.” she stated.
”What is good for the north west and places like Derry is going to be good for us in the longer term, in terms of business coming here,” she added.
If Britain did move to pull out of the EU, the knock-on effect would impact greatly on the likes of Scotland and Northern Ireland, she said.
“Our position would be that we are urging colleagues in the North to stay in. Our assumption would be if the UK calls for and exit then Scotland will host another referendum, so where would that leave Northern Ireland?” Ms Forrester said.
A UK cabinet office report on the matter detailed some of the issues that would arise if Britain do exit the EU.
“Northern Ireland would be confronted with difficult issues about the relationship with Ireland. Outside the EU’s customs union, it would be necessary to impose customs checks on the movement of goods across the border.Questions would also need to be answered about the common travel area which covers the movement of people,” the Irish Times detailed this week.
The 28 page report also details that the region could face a decade of uncertainty.