“Don’t know is the technically correct answer.”
The significance of this report by Derry City and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council is not just in its findings about the impact of Brexit but the collaborative nature of the research and indeed ongoing commitment from the two areas to work together further.
First the findings – it says of Brexit that “the impact may be significant and sustained unless coherent, decisive, mitigating actions are put in place.”
From the outset it underscores the extent of cross border movement between Derry and Donegal at nearly 47 thousand movements a day across just three of the major border crossings. Its research, reflects the areas main sectoral concerns and says the overwhelming consensus in the region is that there should continue to be free movement of people, goods and services. .
It commits the two adminstrations to work together under the North West Strategic Growth Plan and urges movement on issues like Magee University expansion as well as road, port, airport and broadband infrastructure and the development of key economic sites.
It also recommends what it calls innovative responses such as a cross border free trade zone, support for businesses bi-locating and allowance for the bespoke free movement of people.
There’s also a quote in the middle of the report about the ultimate impact: “Don’t know is the technically correct answer.”