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We should be working to ensure whole of Ireland remains in Europe – Adams

26 October, 2016 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking during Leaders’ Questions in the Dáil this afternoon, has said the role and responsibility of the Irish government, as co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, must be to defend the integrity of the Agreement and ensure the remain vote in the north is respected and upheld.

He added that “it is vital that the government has an informed strategy as to how our national interests are protected”.

Teachta Adams said:

“On Monday, the First and deputy First Ministers, Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness, along with the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon and the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones met the British Prime Minister Theresa May in London.

“It was the first meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee in almost two years.

“All of those present demanded to be fully involved in the British government’s negotiations to leave the European Union, though it is becoming increasingly clear that the British government has no intention of allowing this.

“The British approach is to negotiate Brexit in its entirety for England, Scotland, Wales and the north, without any recognition of the remain votes in the north and in Scotland. What happens in Scotland is a matter for people there, but what happens in the north is our business.

“It is well understood that Sinn Féin and the DUP have opposite positions on Brexit, but this should not be an excuse by the government to resile from its responsibilities to people in the north, whose role and responsibility as co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement must be to defend the integrity of the Agreement and ensure the remain vote in the north is respected and upheld.

“Some in this chamber have complained about the absence of concern on the part of the British government about how Brexit will impact on Ireland. There’s nothing new in the current stance. It was always thus. What we need to do is get our own house in order.

“It is vital that the Irish government has an informed strategy as to how our national interests are protected. That means having and advancing an all-Ireland vision of the future.

“The government should agree that the All-Island Civic Dialogue should identify and chart a course to ensure that the whole island remains within the EU.” 

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