A group of fifteen prominent business, academic and NGO figures from the North have united to call for a Yes vote in the Lisbon Referendum. In a letter published in today’s Irish Times the signatories which include Baroness May Blood, Nuala O’Loan, Sir Desmond Rea, Seamus McAleavey , Fearghal McCormack, Dr Gerard O’Hare, Colm Larkin and Jane Morris argue:
Our common membership of the European Union since 1973 has been crucial to the achievement of reconciliation and political stability in Northern Ireland, to the development of North-South relations, and to successful co-operation between the Republic and the United Kingdom……
……A second No would bring Ireland’s continued membership of the Union into unknown territory. It would further damage Ireland’s reputation and its economic prospects, with negative knock-on effects for the North’s economy.
It risks unsettling and destabilising our common membership of the European Union which has been so helpful to us in the past and so necessary to us in the future.