Speaking during the latest meeting of Belfast City Council, Councillor Nicholl described Northern Ireland as being in a unique position due to its land border with the EU, adding we can’t just apply a one-size fits all Brexit.
“The Alliance Party has been a leading voice for Northern Ireland as Brexit negotiations continue without a unified voice from our region at the table,” she said.
“Since the referendum to leave the EU took place, there has been a great deal of uncertainty. I made a conciliatory speech last night, appealing to nationalists and unionists and others that a pragmatic way forward is for Northern Ireland to remain in the EU Single Market so we can ensure that there are common standards on consumer protection, workers’ rights, the environment and fair competition.
“Unfortunately the debate descended into political point scoring. We have witnessed a reenergizing of identity politics in Northern Ireland, with our society once again seeing issues in terms of orange and green. Brexit does mean new barriers and new divisions, however we should all remember that Northern Ireland will only function well through sharing and interdependence. We need to work together.
“The heartbreaking thing about Brexit, is that the EU is keen to help us – we just won’t help ourselves by uniting to get the best deal for Northern Ireland. I’m delighted my motion passed and in the absence of a functioning executive, the Alliance Council group are determined to ensure Belfast’s voice is not lost in these negotiations”