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Irish Government must heed the will of the Dáil on Special Status for the North – Tóibín

30 March, 2017

Sinn Féin TD and Cathaoirleach of the Oireachtas Committee on Regional and Rural Development Peadar Tóibín TD has criticised the Irish and British Governments for not appreciating the gravity of the crisis Brexit represents to the people of Ireland and particularly the border region.

Deputy Tóibín said that the Irish Government must negotiate for a Special Designated Status for the North within the EU as the Oireachtas has directed them to do.

The Meath West TD said:

“It is clear from committee meetings we had yesterday with both business and Border Community Groups that the only way to secure the emerging all-Ireland economy and the rights of citizens won through the Good Friday Agreement is that the north would have Special Designation allowing it remain in the Single Market and the Customs Union. 

“Dozens of houses are located right on the border. The EU border will literally run through peoples’ kitchens. Farmers will have to travel miles to access next door fields. The agricultural supply chain of hundreds of business will be trashed. Irish citizens, and therefore European Citizens, will be stranded outside of the EU. The EU border must be pushed into the sea between our Ireland and Britain.

“During the recent negotiations in Stormont Castle, I sat in front of James Brokenshire, who pleaded with us to compromise and yet flatly refused to give an inch with regards to Special Designation. The Dáil has given a majority mandate to the Irish Government to seek Special Designation. Yet, the Government have failed to my knowledge to utter a single word in this direction with their negotiations with the British.

“Today, I welcomed a delegation of European MEPS from the GUE/NGL group who arrived in Ireland to see for themselves the nature of the impending economic and social disaster. It is worrying to me that Special Designation has greater support in Europe than at home.” 

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