Adams expresses concern at border checks warning from Barnier
Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed concern at the warning from EU negotiator Michel Barnier that border checks are ‘unavoidable’ as a result of the British government’s failure to agree progress on the transition arrangements following Brexit next March.
Teachta Adams said:
“The warning from Michel Barnier today that agreement on a transition arrangement is not a given, following several days of negotiations between Britain and the EU and that border checks are unavoidable as a result of the British government’s stance, is deeply worrying for the people of Louth and the border region.
“The EU Council is due to meet in March and, by that stage, it was expected that the British would have clarified what kind of relationship they wanted with the EU post-Brexit. Agreement was also to be achieved on the structure and detail of the transition arrangements.
“It would appear from Mr Barnier’s comments this morning that no agreement has been reached on either of these matters. Mr. Barnier pointed out that ‘time is short, very short, and we haven’t a minute to lose if we want to succeed’.
“It is also reported that Britain has been told that the EU draft withdrawal agreement will stipulate that the North will in effect remain in the single market and customs in order to avoid a hard border.
“The Irish government must urgently seek clarification from the EU negotiating team on the current state of play with the British. Specifically, we need to know if the legal language of the draft agreement will support the North remaining within the single market and customs union; if the Irish government will support that position; and will it refuse to accept, as was agreed in December, that there will be no hard border?
“The Irish government must also demand that the British government spell out what measures it plans to put in place to ensure that full regulatory alignment is put in place.”