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Northern Ireland would lose billions in Euro exit, warns Martin McGuinness

By Noel McAdam

Published 02/02/2016

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness

Leaving the EU would have a devastating financial impact on Northern Ireland, with billions of euros worth of funding lost, Martin McGuinness has warned.

The Deputy First Minister told the Assembly that loss of access to various EU money streams, including structural and regional development funds, would be severely detrimental.

"The financial implications are absolutely massive for us, not least for our farming community. The North of Ireland is a net beneficiary of the European Union," said Mr McGuinness.

"We have received significant support from the EU through a number of different funding programmes, which, in the event of a Brexit, we would no longer have access to."

Mr McGuinness said structural and regional development funds, comprising the European regional development fund, the European social fund, INTERREG and the Peace IV programme are worth £742m in the six years 2014-2020.

"We would also lose access to funding under the common agricultural policy, which is worth approximately €2.5bn (£1.9bn)in the 2014-2020 period. That represents a massive investment in the sector," he said.

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