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British White paper on Brexit ignores interests of the North – O'Neill

2 February, 2017 - by Michelle O'Neill

Speaking today in response to the publication of the British Government’s White Paper on Exiting the EU, Sinn Féin Leader in the North Michelle O'Neill says,

"The British Government is acting in its own self-interest. This is reflected in its White Paper published today.

"In relation to the North the paper argues for a special relationship status outside of the EU, which retains the Common Travel Area, but which leaves the single market and customs union. This position does little in our view to deal with the disastrous political, social and economic impact Brexit will have on our interests here on the island of Ireland.

She continued: "It’s clear the only credible approach is for the north to be designated a special status within, rather than outside of the EU.

"The economic prosperity, trade relationships and jobs of the entire Island of Ireland must be protected and enhanced.

"The political, constitutional and institutional integrity of the Good Friday Agreement must be fully defended.

"What we need is for the Irish Government as co-guarantor of the Agreement and as an EU member State who will be at the negotiating table to defend the national interest and defend the vote by the cross-community majority of people in the north to remain.

"The Irish Government’s starting point going into these negotiations must be to retain the position of the whole island within the EU.

"The Irish Government must set out its policy and political approach to these negotiations which will influence the future strategic direction of the interests of the whole island."CRÍOCH/ENDS

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