Border Communities Against Brexit warn GFA Committee on potential Brexit repercussions - Kathleen Funchion TD
Sinn Féin's Kathleen Funchion TD, Chair of the Oireachtas Good Friday Agreement Committee has said that Border Communities Against Brexit highlighted crucial points regarding any reinstatement of a hard border to the Good Friday Agreement Oireachtas Committee.
“Border Communities Against Brexit is an organisation which seeks to highlight the concerns of people who live close to the border. Opposing any re-imposition of border restrictions is one of the group’s top priorities, as are protecting trade and tourism.
“The broad, cross community and non-party-political group's contributions provided an invaluable insight for committee members on the stark realities that Brexit could present via a renewal of a hard border, for the whole island.
“They stated to committee members that if Brexit proceeds under the current constitutional arrangements, the border dividing Ireland will become an external border of the EU, possibly classified by the EU as a Third Country. This would be hugely problematic and obviously something we in Sinn Féin could not support or accept.
“They also highlighted the worrisome fact that Frontex which is the company responsible for managing Europe's external border on the Eastern part of Europe could potentially become involved in the managing of the border between the 6 and 26 counties. Currently, Frontex is responsible for the implementation of the Hard Border that exists there. The group voiced their concern to the committee that this could be an eventual step taken should Brexit be realised for the 6 counties.
“It's abundantly clear that the ramifications of Brexit on north-south relations and the reinstatement of any kind of border, soft or hard, will be huge if the 6 counties exit Europe along with Britain.
“The group concluded that European Prime ministers, Governments and Commissioners 'need to hear a very clear and strong message of the necessity for the North to stay within the European Union'.
“We in Sinn Féin have been calling on this government for months to step up to the plate and play its part in ensuring that happens.”