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Crowe challenges British Ambassador on Brexit

4 April, 2017 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Seán Crowe TD has challenged the British Ambassador to Ireland Robin Barnett over his Government’s approach to Brexit. The exchange came during a meeting of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs with the Ambassador to discuss the British Government’s plans for withdrawing from the EU.

Deputy Seán Crowe said:

“I want to thank Ambassador Barnett for meeting with the Committee in public session today.

“I informed the Ambassador that his Government’s approach to Brexit will have a detrimental impact on Ireland and that they have no mandate to drag the North of Ireland out of the EU, undermine the Good Friday Agreement, and place a hard border on this island.

“I told him that Sinn Féin has a mandate and duty to defend the democratic wish of the cross-community majority in the North who have not consented to leave or be dragged out of the EU by the British Government. We will not let the British Government use Brexit to unravel the progress of the past 20 years.

“Sinn Féin is calling for special designated status for the North within the EU. This is supported by the majority of parties in the Dáil and by the majority of MLAs who were elected in the recent Assembly Elections. It is a realistic and achievable solution.

“I also raised my concerns with the British Government’s commitment to scrap the Human Rights Act and end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the European Convention on Human Rights, which would directly violate the Good Friday and subsequent Agreements.

“I questioned Ambassador Barnett on his Government’s plan for a trade agreement with the EU and whether they were planning to establish themselves as a low wage tax haven, as the Labour opposition has claimed.

“Lastly, I raised my concerns that senior Tory figures have called for Prime Minister May to defend the colony of Gibraltar by war if necessary.” 

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