Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has criticised the British government’s planned legislation for a new permit scheme for cross-border workers.
Speaking after 16 organisations in the north signed a joint letter expressing concern about the planned scheme, the East Derry MLA said:
“This week the Committee on the Administration of Justice and 15 other groups sent a joint letter to the Secretary of State outlining serious concerns around the Frontier Workers Scheme. This scheme is intended to provide vital rights protections to those who travel over the border to work.
“Up to 30,000 people on the island of Ireland are cross-border workers. They will be losing access to vital EU protections next year, and the scheme intended to replace that is nowhere near up and running.
“No consultation was done before the legislation for this scheme was introduced. It is shameful that unions and rights groups have had to release a public letter in order to make their views known to the British government.
“As is often the case with Brexit issues, it is Ireland’s border communities who will suffer the most. Cross-border workers are a vital part of the border economy, and the least they deserve is a scheme that is delivered promptly and transparently.”
“I will be writing to the Minister for the Economy and the British Home Secretary to urge them to listen to the concerns of cross border workers.”