Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2016-07-04-Speech-1-236-000"

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"Mr President, Brexit poses many challenges, but without a doubt the country most affected aside from the UK itself will be Ireland. 17% of our exports go to the UK, with a large proportion from our SMEs and our agri-food sector. We also risk the possibility of having a hard border right through the middle of our small island. Ireland will need some kind of temporary or interim regime, or some type of support, if the UK does not have access to the single market. There have been calls for a soft landing for Northern Ireland, for example, but any type of light regime for Northern Ireland while they maintain access to the single market would significantly damage our economy in the Republic. If a business or farmer in Northern Ireland did not have to comply with the same rules – did not have to operate under the same regime as a business or farmer in the Republic – then they would have a huge competitive advantage and we would not be operating on a level playing field. In a balanced way, we in Ireland must strongly defend all our economic interests."@en1

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