Letter: ​EU and the Republic must step up to the plate when it comes to funding Northern Ireland

A letter from Stevan Patterson:
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The announcement by the Republic of Ireland to contribute £685 million (800m Euro) for cross-border projects is but a drop in the ocean compared to the economic damage the sea border is causing each and every day.

This money clearly has a political objective in promoting an all-island economy in furthering the joint authority they now have through membership of the EU and its control over Northern Ireland.

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I think it’s time the Republic of Ireland and indeed the EU got real to the damage they are doing to the economy of Northern Ireland in the loss of trade with our biggest market - the rest of the United Kingdom.

If the Republic of Ireland government believes that the people of Northern Ireland can be bought for such a paltry sum they have a lot to learn.

We are not that easily duped, although our political leaders may be.

As the UK has now installed, and is rigorously implementing, a trade border within the UK to the benefit of the EU and Irish Republic, I believe it is about time both the EU and RoI stood up to the plate and made a more realistic commitment to funding in Northern Ireland each and every year.

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I would suggest £2 billion each would be the place to start. After all, an extra £4 billion per year contribution for them to keep the border open between Northern Ireland and the Republic while hardening the internal UK sea border seems like the minimum contribution they should be making each year for the damage they are doing.

If they want it, it’s time to pay for it and stop thinking they can have it on the cheap.

Stevan Patterson, Castlederg