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Irish Government left red-faced by Spanish veto over Gibraltar – Quinlivan

5 April, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD


Speaking at a debate on Brexit tonight, Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan has condemned the Government’s start to the Brexit negotiations following the trigger of Article 50, saying that they are not acting in the best interests of the island as decided by the Oireachtas.

Deputy Quinlivan said:

“Article 50 was triggered a week ago, setting off two years of negotiation time for Brexit, and in this small space of time, the Irish Government managed to get off to the worst possible start, being left red-faced by Spain securing a veto over the future of Gibraltar.

“Sinn Féin has been advocating since the Brexit referendum, for the government to call for a Special Status designation for the North. This would not only substantially benefit North and South, it would also solve the huge concerns that people have about the return of a hard border.

“There is no reason the Government should not campaign for a Special Status for the North. It is the closest equivalent to the current status quo and it leaves the door open for the North to be reunified easier with the South in the future.”

The Limerick City TD also called out Fianna Fáil for propping up this government and doing nothing to work towards a Special Status designation for the North within the EU;

“This is not just to call on the Government to do more. Fianna Fáil, the so-called Republican Party, are propping up this minority Government, so if they wanted they could insist the Government take a harder approach to negotiations around Brexit, and set out their stand on a Special Status designation for the North within the EU.”

In his concluding remarks to the Dáil, Deputy Quinlivan said;

“Just today the European Parliament voted to recognise the ‘unique and special circumstances confronting the Island of Ireland, and ensure continuity and stability of the Northern Ireland peace process, and avoid the reestablishment of a hard border’.

“In February, the Dáil passed a motion on a Special Status for the North within the EU. This motion was to demand that in the Brexit negotiations the Government seek for the North to be designated with a special status within the EU.

“In March, the Committee on Jobs, Enterprise, and Innovation published its report on ‘The Likely Economic Impact of Brexit with Particular Emphasis on Jobs and Enterprise’, which included the recommendation that: ‘As part of the Brexit negotiations, it is essential to argue the case for designated special status for Northern Ireland within the European Union’.

“The Dáil has clearly spoken on this issue and it is now time for this Fine Gael minority Government to act on what the Oireachtas has decided.” 

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