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Adams introduces Brexit Bill to protect EU citizens in the North and for clarity on Irish government Brexit proposals

2 February, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has today introduced the European Communities (Brexit) Bill 2017 in the Dáil.

An objective of the Bill is to preserve the rights of those citizens in the north who will remain EU citizens in the aftermath of Brexit by virtue of their Irish citizenship

The Bill also places a statutory requirement on the Taoiseach to outline the government’s approach to negotiations surrounding Brexit to the Oireachtas.

Teachta Adams said:

“The aim of the European Communities (Brexit) Bill is to amend the European Communities Acts and to place a statutory requirement on the Taoiseach to outline to the Dáil the government’s approach to the Brexit negotiations.

“It obliges the government to set out how it intends protecting the rights of citizens in the north who will remain EU citizens after Brexit by virtue of their Irish citizenship. It will ensure that the government reports on its efforts to uphold the obligations of both the British and Irish government under the Good Friday Agreement.

“The Bill places an onus on the Irish government to make a quarterly report to both the Dáil and Seanad on developments in the Article 50 negotiation process.

“I am of the firm view that this Bill will help to facilitate dialogue in the Dáil and will go some way to ensuring that the Oireachtas and public are kept up to date on developments in the negotiations.

“This dialogue can facilitate an inclusive process of open policy debate which can inform the governments response to the British governments Brexit plans and to EU plans as they arise.”

“The starting point of the Irish government’s response in the Article 50 process must be to actively seek a special designated status for the north within the European Union that will uphold the democratic vote of citizens there, but will also ensure that the frontier between the EU and Britain will not be on the island of Ireland.

“That is crucially important for both parts of our island. The British government today published a White Paper on Brexit. The Irish government needs to publish a White Paper also.

Regular dialogue in the Dáil would facilitate broad political support for that proposition and I would again urge the Taoiseach ensure a key part of the Irish government’s negotiation strategy is a designated status for the north."

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