Alliance Councillor Emmet McDonough Brown has backed plans for Belfast City Council to establish a formal Brexit Standing Committee – allowing the City to adequately prepare in advance of the 2019 withdrawal date.
The Councillor for South Belfast seconded a motion at Monday night’s Council meeting that should lead to the formation of a committee – made up of elected representatives – tasked with producing a report recommending how best to limit the impact of Brexit on Belfast and its citizens.
Councillor Emmet McDonough Brown said: “Europe is watching Northern Ireland, as debate rages over what our position in a post-Brexit era will look like and at a time when we have no Government speaking up for people here it is essential that we fill this void, doing what we can to protect our citizens and plan for the future.
“With the majority of people in Northern Ireland backing remaining in the European Union, it is essential we don’t just sit back and wait for Brexit to hit, but that we do the ground work now. We must urgently start to work with communities and businesses; we must assess all options and potential mitigations so we develop a clear picture of the impact and articulate a plan to move forward.
“This society only works on the basis of sharing and interdependence, whereas Brexit is all about erecting new divisions and barriers – we must act now to secure Belfast’s continued future as a global destination for business, tourists and citizens alike.”