Florencecourt farmer John Sheridan was part of the Border Communities Against Brexit delegation who met with the EU Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt during his trip to Ireland last week.

“We told him that the biggest success in Ireland was the fact that the only visible border was the signs changing from miles per hour to kilometres per hour,” said Mr. Sheridan.

“We in Border Communities Against Brexit want to live, trade, work and travel as we have done before. That is still possible if Ireland [is] one economic island.”

He showed Mr. Verhofsdat a map of Ireland which illustrated the locations that he as a farmer deals with on a daily basis, including, buying hay and straw from Wexford Carlow and Cork or buying hardware in Virginia.

“We surprised ourselves when we saw a visual representation of the level of economic integration we experience throughout Ireland,” said Mr. Sheridan.

“Brexit permeates into every single aspect of our lives,” he added.

“Mr. Verhofsdat understood that there can be no hard Brexit. I always said a soft Brexit will be a hard Brexit by stealth.”

Mr.Verhofstadt told Dáil Éireann that it is up to the UK Government to “come up with a workable solution which safeguards [peace] preserves the common travel area and avoids a hardening of the border”.

Following his visit, DUP Leader Arlene Foster stated: “We want to secure an outcome that keeps the border open and seamless for businesses involved in cross-border trade. This solution must be part of a UK-wide solution. We will not countenance any customs deal that cuts NI adrift from our primary marketplace.”