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Ireland already lagging behind in Brexit negotiations – McDonald

3 April, 2017 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has criticised the Government for not having a substantive impact on the draft guidelines for the Brexit negotiations by not securing a veto on the north as Spain did with Gibraltar and encouraged An Taoiseach Enda Kenny to push for special status for the north within the EU.

Speaking today, Deputy McDonald said:

“The EU council has published their draft position with a reference to the Good Friday Agreement and vague aspirations regarding Ireland.

“As part of the EU draft guidelines, the Spanish Government secured a veto regarding Gibraltar. An Taoiseach failed to secure such negotiation leverage.

“The British Government has published its article 50 letter and their negotiations position.

“The majority of parties north and south recognise the way to minimise the impact of Brexit in Ireland, is for the north to be designated special status within the EU and for the whole island to remain in the EU together.

“An Taoiseach must reflect this in the Irish Government response to the EU Council draft negotiations that must be amended to give effect to the wishes of all the people across this island. There cannot be an EU frontier across Ireland.

“The position of the Irish Government must be clear; the north should be designated special status within the EU.

“The Irish Government should present to the Oireachtas, as a matter of urgency, their negotiating priorities and policy.” 

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