‘If there was another Brexit referendum, I think there would be a different outcome’

If it was possible to hold a second referendum on Brexit, Eugene Kiernan of Breffni Mushrooms believes there would be a different outcome.

Kiernan was one of speakers at a Brexit event – entitled ‘Implications for Border Counties Post Brexit’ – organised by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA).

The event took place in the Glencarn Hotel in Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, last night (April 5). A panel of agri-industry leaders in the region discussed the current state of play of the Brexit negotiations and the implications for farming and the agri-food industry, especially in the border counties.

Giving his opinion on the best possible solution to Brexit, Kiernan said: “The best solution – and it’s probably an Irish solution to a Brexit problem – would be to have another vote on the issue.

But, it probably won’t happen. You’re dealing with politicians and – probably – Theresa May’s primary focus is to keep her job. I can see an election coming in the next 12 months in the UK; maybe others would be disagree.

“You can’t have Brexit and still be in a customs union and be a member of the EU; you either have to be one or the other. So, we can speculate all we like – but, the reality is that Theresa May was over in the six counties [recently] and she didn’t think it worth her while to come down to the border area.

“For me, it puts it on the scale of how she treats the border issue as top of her agenda or bottom of her agenda.

“I would hope that another vote on the issue would be taken and I would be confident that it would be a different outcome. But, it will probably not happen,” he said.

Kiernan – whose business employs approximately 350 people – believes that the people who voted in favour of Brexit now see how farcical it is.

Continuing, he said: “I think it is the most stupid thing any country ever did; turning their back on a market with 500 million people on their doorstep and then looking to go to Argentina or Brazil or Africa or Asia – where there is no money to pay for goods.”

‘The average Brit now is mesmerised’

Also speaking at the event was the chief executive of LacPatrick Dairies, Gabriel D’Arcy, who outlined that those who voted for Brexit may have been swayed to vote the way the did due to issues around immigration.

If my memory serves me right, the number one biggest issue as to why people decided to vote for Brexit was to take control of our borders; there was a lot of other issues thrown in, but that was the main issue.

“Obviously, since then we now know that there are issues with customs unions, trading and so forth – and actually the average Brit now is mesmerised. I find it difficult and I’m supposed to know a little bit more because I have to run a business,” he said.