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By Michael Jackson

A Lisburn man has spoken of how he has lost out on a prestigious European internship due to the implications of Brexit.

24-year-old Ruairí Fisher had successfully applied for an internship with the Scout Movement in Brussels, but was later rejected on the basis that he lives in the North of Ireland, which would be outside the EU in the event of Brexit.

Despite Irish citizenship and membership of the all-Ireland Scouting Organisation, a spokesperson for the Scouts told Mr Fisher in an email correspondance that the “benchmark” for EU funding is “current residency” not “citizenship”.

“Unless you get an Irish residence for the next six months, you would not be eligible,” the spokesperson added.

Speaking to Daily Belfast, Mr Fisher said: “I was annoyed and disappointed that through no fault of my own I was rejected from the internship.

“It seems that the people in Westminster and Europe don’t understand the terms of the Good Friday Agreement or the implications of Brexit on it.

“I’m an Irish citizen, but because I live in a contested space my opportunities are jeopardized. Even though the terms of the Good Friday Agreement allow me to claim Irish citizenship, EU residency seems to be a sticking point for them.”

He continued: “I think it raises questions about the wider impact of Brexit on people here. I think it will close opportunities for people here who want to work abroad or for students on Erasmus.

“It will be a shame if other people lose out on opportunities that could benefit their education and career.”

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