EU Debate NI | Brexit & Your Community
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Brexit & Your Community

The Centre for Democracy and Peace Building is committed to completing the peace process; changing attitudes; building a normal society; and sharing the experience with others in conflict.

7 Events | 1000 Attendees | 5000 view our videos | 20,000 access our Toolkit | Evidence given to UK Parliament

What happened?

On 23 June 2016 the UK government held an referendum asking the question: ‘Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’
The overall, UK-wide result was:

51.9% Leave
481.% Remain

Turnout was 71.8% with 17.4 million voters voting ‘leave’ and 16.1 million voters voting ‘remain’. In England and Wales the majority of voters voted ‘leave’. In Northern Ireland, as in Scotland and Gibraltar, a majority of voters indicated a desire to remain in the EU.

What happened?

What does it mean?

The majority of voters across the UK have expressed their view that they do not want to continue the current relationship between the UK and the EU
We talk about “Brexit” but one of the challenges is that we don’t know what “Brexit” looks like.
The question is – what will the new relationship between the UK and EU look like?

Reacting to the Referendum result

Two questions we need to ask:
1. What are the practical implications of the decision to leave the EU?
2. What does the best outcome look like for me / my business / my community?

What are the practical implications of the decision to leave the EU?


The process to leave the EU (Article 50)


Negotiating the new relationship


Establishing the best deal for NI

Article 50

Who will trigger Article 50? PM / Parliament
Once triggered – two years to negotiate
No agreement = automatic exit
Can only be extended by consent of all member states
Deal requires approval of Council of Ministers & EU Parliament
Can Article 50 be withdrawn?


The UK withdrawal from EU
New trade agreement with the EU
New trade agreement with other countries (US, China, etc)
WTO Membership
Other arrangements with EU (eg defence)

Negotiating the new relationship

Free movement of services
Free movement of goods
Free movement of capital
Free movement of people
Agriculture & Fisheries
Environment & Energy
Peace Funding
Research & Infrastructure funding
Decision making in EU
Financial contribution to EU

Options for Nortnern Ireland


Letter from First & Deputy First Ministers to Prime Minister 10.8.16

“wish to reiterate our full commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for the people of NI”
“reassured by your commitment that we will be fully involved and represented in the negotiations…”

1. The Border
2. The Economy
3. Energy
4. EU Funds
5. Agri-food sector & fisheries

Joint Statement by NI Business Representative Organisations 24.8.16

CBI NI, Business in the Community, Catalyst Inc, Hospitality Ulster, IOD, Manufacturing NI, NI Food & Drink, NI Hotel Federation, NIIRTA, Newry Chamber of Commerce, Londonderry Chamber of Commerce

1. Moving on from Brexit

Negotiations must recognise the importance for NI businesses to retain the benefits of trade of access to the single market, including the customs union and the Common Travel Area.
Continued access to people , skills, customers and suppliers across the border.
Need for stable regulatory & standards environment.
Current EU funded social and environmental projects need to continue.

2. Partnership

NI’s new economic challenges are best addressed by a close partnership between the NI Executive and business community.
Businesses are facing unprecedented uncertainty, which is damaging to confidence and investment.

3. Sectoral challenges and opportunities.

Agri-food sector is organised on a cross-border basis
Tourism industry
Challenge in attracting FDI

4. Skills & infrastructure

Reliance on free movement of labour.
Infrastructure could provide stimulus to NI economy – priorities A6 Belfast to L’Derry, North-South electricity connector, etc.

How do we deal with uncertainty?



Separate Realities

Insight and Realization

What is the best outcome for you / your business / your community?

What is the best outcome for you/ your business/ your community?


What are your priorities?


Why are these your priorities?


What is your vision for NI post-Brexit?