During the European Committee of the Regions' 126th Plenary session members held an emotive debate on the UK's withdrawal from the European Union and shared some of the main concerns over the impact it will have on their regions and citizens. Guests speakers included Brian Hayes MEP who outlined the priority of an agreement on Irish border issues.
Cllr Enda Stenson, member of Leitrim County Council reminded everyone of the devastating effect a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland had in the past and said that we cannot return to those days. He urged that a solution be found that would suit those living on the whole island of Ireland.
The European Alliance Group President Karl Vanlouwe highlighted the impact on Flanders, in particular the very high level of trade it has with the UK. Cllr Andrew Cooper said the British people were conned by the Brexiters and much of their campaign, including claims of the alleged financial benefits of Brexit for the NHS, has now been shown as false.
Mairi Gougeon, Member of the Scottish Parliament focused on the need to protect citizens' rights post BREXIT while Cllr Kieran McCarthy from the Cork City Council outlined the need for continued cooperation projects in particular around the Atlantic Area.
Finally, East Renfrewshire Councilor Tony Buchanan outlined a worrying perspective of Brexit's impact on local services in Scotland and also reinforced the need for continued cooperation.