SINN Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Tory plans about the rights of EU citizens will harm the north’s economy.
Martina Anderson said: “Many parts of the economy in the North depend on workers from across the EU, particularly the agri-food, hospitality and health sectors.
“In fact a recent report found that 91 per cent of contract labour demand at peak times is fulfilled by EU nationals in the hospitality industry.
“The registration process proposed by the Tories as part of their scattergun approach to Brexit would restrict the free movement required for these workers and, as a result, have a negative impact on our economy.
“The principle of free movement is key and should apply to all EU nationals across the island of Ireland.
“All EU nationals, including those currently resident here and those who may come in the future, should have all current rights guaranteed post-Brexit.
“Those rights should be enforced by the European Court of Justice and the way the best way to ensure this, and the rights of EU citizens, is for the north to secure designated special status within the EU.
“Given the new axis between the DUP and the Tories at Westminster, the DUP now need to clarify if they will follow the lead of their Tory paymasters or act in the best interests of the north by protecting the rights of EU citizens.”