Brexit no threat to Northern Ireland, claims Nigel Farage

Ukip leader in Belfast to take part in debate on EU referendum at Ulster University

Nigel Farage: ‘This referendum is about politics, it’s not about business.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Nigel Farage: ‘This referendum is about politics, it’s not about business.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

 

The people of Northern Ireland have nothing to fear from Britain leaving the European Union, UK Independence Party (Ukip) leader Nigel Farage has said.

The MEP was in Belfast yesterday to encourage support for the campaign to leave the EU after the June 23rd referendum.

He took part in a debate at Ulster University with Labour’s shadow northern secretary, Vernon Coaker, who is campaigning against Brexit. It was organised by the Centre for Democracy and Peace Building.

Mr Coaker said the North was better off in the EU “because it takes away the uncertainties around jobs, around growth”.

He said “one in eight jobs in Northern Ireland is related to trade with respect to the EU” and EU funds supported peace initiatives and made a “massive difference”.

Mr Farage said he could “hardly believe” some of the arguments being put forward by pro-EU campaigners, such as British prime minister David Cameron, against Brexit. “This referendum is about politics, it’s not about business, investment or trade any more than the argument that Britain should join the euro was.”

On Irish Border arrangements in event of Brexit, Mr Farage said he saw no reason why soft Border arrangements with the North could not continue.