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Unionist criticism of Taoiseach self-serving – Adams

30 January, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD speaking in Belfast today on the issue of Brexit said:

“Unionist protestations at Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s comments on Brexit are entirely self-serving. The Taoiseach is right and entitled to make remarks about Brexit under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement and in the context of its likely impact on the island of Ireland.”

Gerry Adams said:

“If Sinn Féin has a criticism of the Taoiseach it that he doesn’t speak up often enough nor has he and the Irish government a consistent strategic plan for challenging the British government on its policy in Ireland.

Sinn Féin’s attitude to the European Union is one of critical engagement. We want a different kind of EU – a social Europe in which the undemocratic aspects of the current system would be reformed and in which citizens would have a greater say.

Our approach to Brexit is dictated by the fact that a part of this island will be significantly adversely affected by it. Whatever the people of Britain want is a matter for them. But a vote by Britain to leave the European Union poses a substantial risk to the economies of both states on this island.

Over one billion euro each week is traded in goods and services between the Irish state and Britain. 

The end of the Single Farm Payment for our farmers would result in a loss of €2.5 billion euro. 

Britain exiting the EU would mean an end to the Rural Development Fund, Structural Funds, and PEACE Funding.

The north would lose €982 million in Structural Funds which are crucial for Small and medium businesses, community regeneration and community groups.

The combined financial loss of EU investment, subsidies and funds to the north arising from a Brexit would be in the region of £3.5 billion.

And then there is the impact this would have on foreign direct investment which sees the north as a gateway to Europe.

None of this money will be replaced by a British government that has already imposed severe austerity cuts.

The European Council in December set the upcoming meeting on February 18th and 19th the goal of securing an agreement or mutually satisfactory solutions.

Those who seek to remain within the EU must redouble our efforts in the time available to ensure that any vote succeeds in keeping the north within the EU.

Political parties, local business leaders, the trade unions and others to support EU membership need to ensure that our voice is heard.” 

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