Belfast Telegraph

Ex-IRA man says Brexit threatens economy rather than peace in Northern Ireland

An ex-IRA man has said Brexit have more impact on the economy rather than threatening peace in Northern Ireland.

Tommy McKearney, who was imprisoned in 1976 for killing a part-time soldier, believes Northern Ireland should worry more about jobs, not guns, when it comes to Brexit.

The 65-year-old stated, on "There is little or no appetite for a return to violent conflict and the support necessary to maintain a campaign does not exist.

"Most republicans that I speak with tend to see Brexit as an economic issue rather than a democratic matter."

Last week any notion for a special status for Northern Ireland was turned down by the UK, which could remove the need for a return of the border.

McKearney said a return to a hard border which would result in armed checkpoints was a "non sequitur".

DUP MLA Arlene Foster, whose father was shot by the IRA when she was a young girl near the border, agreed with McKearney on the border issue.

The former first minister said: "It is scaremongering to make claims about peace in Northern Ireland and given the challenges we still face, it is deeply irresponsible.

"Those making these claims never specify what the source of this violence would be. Despite some of the wild claims the European Union did not secure peace in Northern Ireland."

The DUP leader added: "In attempting to use peace here as a bargaining chip, those making such claims only make life more difficult for those of us working daily in Northern Ireland to cement the progress we have already made and overcome those obstacles that still face us."

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