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Alliance supported the 'Remain' choice in the 2016 Referendum on the United Kingdom's continued participation in the European Union.

We maintain that any departure from the EU will have major economic, financial, social and environment consequences for the UK, and diminish its global standing and influence. It will also create significant challenges for, and diminish, the European Union itself and the wider international system.

The impact on the Republic of Ireland, the island of Ireland and in particular Northern Ireland are set to be particularly difficult, and, indeed, catastrophic in some respects.

Alliance's position is that the UK as a whole should reconsider leaving the European Union. If that is not on the agenda, our preference is for the softest Brexit possible, including continued membership of the EU Single Market and adherence to the Four Fundamental Freedoms (around the freedom of movement of workers, goods, services and capital) and membership of the EU Customs Union and Common External Tariff.

Independent of these considerations, but nevertheless shaped by them, Alliance will continue to argue for special arrangements to be negotiated and put in place for Northern Ireland, and for this region to be accorded a Special Deal in terms of either continued associate membership of the European Union or a bespoke relationship with it. This outcome is not only necessarily to protect the Good Friday Agreement, but also must be consistent with the principles and terms of that Agreement, including the Principle of Consent.

For Alliance, a potential model for Special Status for Northern Ireland would include

  • Participation within Single Market.
  • Participation within the Custom Union.
  • Adherence to the Four Freedoms.
  • Access to Structural and Competitive Funds.
  • Rights to EU Citizenship for all born in Northern Ireland.
  • Northern Ireland covered by EU regulations and Assembly control over EU Directives.
  • The devolution model and balance of competencies otherwise continuing, with local taxes being paid to the UK Government; a UK Treasury financial subvention continuing; the UK Government handling non-EU Foreign Policy and Defence.

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