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Carthy tells EU Parliament that community will not accept “any return to physical border” in Ireland

24 October, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has told the European Parliament that communities living in the Irish border region will not accept any return to a physical border following Brexit, knowing as they do the economic, political and social catastrophe that it would entail.

He said that all of Ireland must remain in the customs union and the single market and that all of Ireland must have the protections of EU law. 

Carthy was speaking in Strasbourg today during a European Parliament debate on the "Conclusions of the European Council meeting of 19th and 20th October" which was dominated by the Brexit issue.

He said:

“The Good Friday Agreement recognises that there are unique circumstances that require special arrangements regarding the North of Ireland. 

“The Good Friday Agreement essentially confers a Special Status regarding the political and constitutional framework on which the Six Counties of the North operate.

“That Agreement is the basis on which we have been building peace in Ireland.

“Anyone who now says that there must be no special provisions for the North of Ireland in any Brexit deal, is not only ignoring the realities of the Good Friday Agreement - they are, in fact, trying to undermine it.

“It is disappointing that the British Government is cherry-picking the peace agreement. 

“But, it would be worse - it would be a travesty, if EU negotiators allowed them in doing so, by agreeing to the removal of European legal protections for the North of Ireland.

“As someone from the border region in Ireland I tell parliament today, I tell the Council, and I tell the Commission - our community will not accept any return to the days of physical manifestation of the border in Ireland knowing as we do the economic, political and social catastrophe that that would be.

“All of Ireland must remain in the customs union and the single market and all of Ireland must have the protections of EU law. 

“The EU must stand firm on these positions.”

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