Dickson calls on DUP to reconsider Brexit view in light of report

The DUP should reconsider its position on Brexit after a major report showed Northern Ireland was more vulnerable than other parts of the UK to potentially negative impacts of an EU withdrawal, Alliance MLA Stewart Dickson has said.

The East Antrim MLA was speaking after the release of the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment (DETI) report, carried out by the Oxford Economics consultancy. It says the main area of vulnerability in the event of Brexit would be trade with the Republic of Ireland, with a worst case scenario seeing economic output in Northern Ireland being five per cent lower in 2030 than it would have been if the UK remains in the EU.

“Only last month, I asked DETI Minister Jonathan Bell would he be the only Enterprise Minister in the UK who would be leading the charge against local industry and business by advocating an EU exit. He responded his Department had commissioned this report by Oxford Economics and we should wait to examine it.

“That report is now public and it sets out the case against Brexit. The facts are Northern Ireland will remain stronger as part of the EU, with reduced trade barriers and increased social cohesion among other factors.

“I would call on the Minister to admit his party have got this wrong, listen to the experts who are clearly saying we should remain in the EU and the DUP to change their position on this matter.”

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