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Carthy reiterates call for EU Special Designated Status for the North

31 March, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP


Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy reiterated his party’s call for Special Designated Status for the North of Ireland within the European Union.

Speaking at a public meeting in at the Carrickdale Hotel, Co. Louth which was also addressed by Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD, Martina Anderson MEP, German MEP Gabi Zimmer and John Sheridan of the Border Communities Against Brexit group, Matt Carthy said:

“Following this week’s actions by the Brirish Prime Minister, Brexit is now a reality.

“The prospect of customs tariffs and the restriction of the free movement of goods, services and people across the border, as a result of Brexit is now of deep and growing concern, especially to businesses, workers, students and farmers in the border region.

“Beyond the enormous and unprecedented economic challenges, any hardening of the border or undoing of progress made during the Peace Process cannot be permitted".

Carthy and fellow Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson were hosting a Task Force of MEPs from various countries in Ireland to examine the impact of Brexit on here.

The delegation included Gabi Zimmer (Die Linke, Germany), president of the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament, Josu Juaristi (EH Bildu, Basque country), Maria Matias (Left Bloc, Portugal), Lidia Senra (Galician Alternative Left, Spain) and Giorgios Karatsioubanis (Syriza, Greece).

The Task Force also held meetings with Newry, Mourne and Down Council and Monaghan County Council.

Addressing the impact on ordinary families and communities in border counties by any strengthening of the border, Carthy said:

“I remember very well the long battles in the past to re-open cratered border roads that many of us use on a daily basis. Can we imagine if these roads are closed again? We must all stand together to uphold the democratic wishes of the people of the North, as provided for in the Good Friday Agreement.

“We have to take a stand against an EU frontier in Ireland. We are one community and one country – we must build towards unity not further division.

“Sinn Féin is working to ensure the continued freedom of movement of people and goods within Ireland, without tariffs or border controls, and to safeguard cross-border structural and peace funding.

"We wish to secure the position of the whole island of Ireland within the European Union, in line with the democratically expressed wishes of the people of the North.

"Sinn Féin believes there should be no hard or soft Brexit for the North and that we must move beyond the consequences of Brexit to look at real alternatives.

"Our preference is for a referendum on Irish unity, and a recent Red C poll found that a majority of those polled believe that Irish Unity is the best way to avoid a hard border.

“However, political leaders should also look to unique arrangements which are already in place in the EU. Denmark is an EU member, yet Greenland is outside the Union and still receives European funding.

“The EU, as a result of a decision by the European Council in April 1990, became an active persuader for the reunification of Germany.

"Northern Cyprus, in the event of Cypriot reunification, will be fully integrated into the EU. Its seats in the European Parliament are allocated on the basis of the population of the island of Cyprus, not merely the de-facto state.

"This is an arrangement that must be considered for Ireland, given the inherent right of those born on this island to Irish citizenship, and by virtue of that right, citizenship of the EU.

"The Irish Government must use the forthcoming Brexit negotiations  to secure designated special status for the North of Ireland within the European Union.”

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