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Gerry Adams TD calls for Special Designated Status for North following Brexit

13 December, 2016 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD today said that the British House of Lords report on Brexit “underlines the imperative for the Irish government to support and promote the North securing a designated special status within the EU.” It also emphasises the importance of the governments protecting the Good Friday Agreement.

The Sinn Féin leader raised the issue with the Taoiseach today in the Dáil.

Deputy Adams said:

“The British House of Lords EU Committee has published a report that sets out some of the implications of Brexit for the people of Ireland and for trade. It warns that the North must not become ‘collateral damage’ as a result of Brexit. It also expresses concern at the implications of Brexit on the economy of this state.

“The Committee which heard from former Taoisigh Bertie Ahern and John Bruton reports that Brexit will impact on all aspects of life but especially the substantial cross-border trade, particularly in meat and dairy products.

“Among its conclusions the report states that physical or online customs checks are not only undesirable but probably unviable because of the adverse effect on the economies north and south of the border. In a very stark warning it found that the North’s economy was already characterised by the “highest levels of deprivation, unemployment and poverty” and while this state might be well placed to respond to the economic challenges in its path, the North is not.

“The report dismisses the notion of the electronic monitoring of the movement of goods. And is critical of the Norway-Sweden system. It concludes that, and I quote, “the only way to maintain an open border would be either for the UK to remain in the customs union or for EU partners to agree to a bilateral UK-Irish agreement on trade and customs”.

“There is of course a third option and that is for the North to become a special designated area within the EU. Sinn Féin has continuously argued for the north’s vote to remain in the EU to be respected and for a special designated status to be created to allow the whole island remain in the EU.

“Last week Sinn Féin published a detailed paper  – The case for the North to achieve Designated Special Status within the EU -  which seeks to address many of the consequences of Brexit and the alternatives to it for the island of Ireland.”

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