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Brexit EU Guidelines needed significantly strengthened – Adams

28 April, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Speaking today, Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, commenting on tomorrow’s special EU summit on Brexit, said:

“Tomorrow’s special meeting of the European Council will agree guidelines for Brexit negotiations. The first draft of these guidelines fell short of what is required from Ireland’s perspective, including the North where the people voted to remain with the EU in last June’s referendum.

“The Government appears to be trying to get those guidelines, which will set out the overall EU positions and principles, amended. I welcome that, although I fear it might be too little, too late.

“The Taoiseach has failed to set out the Government priorities in a consolidated paper, as he promised in March. He has also failed to publish what amendments, if any, he will seek to the negotiations guidelines.

“Instead, there has been a deluge of spin about what the Government is doing. What it should be doing is seeking a political declaration from the European Council in its negotiation guidelines in relation to securing designated special status for the North within the EU.

“Such a declaration should seek to address the Single Market, Common Travel Area, EU funding streams, rights of Irish citizens in the north of Ireland and protection of rights and maintain access to EU institutions.

“After Britain leaves the Union, we believe that no agreement between the EU and the British government should apply to the north of Ireland without agreement of both governments as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement – an international treaty.

“We believe that transitional agreements should be put in place until Britain’s relationship with the EU can be agreed in order to protect the North’s economy.

“The north of Ireland should continue to have political representation within the European Parliament.

“Special provisions should be sought by the Irish Government in the negotiation guidelines which allow the North to seamlessly resume full membership status within the EU in the aftermath of a successful Irish Unity referendum in the future.

“We have been lobbying the EU27 member states on the merits of these provisions which we believe should be included in any finalised negotiation guidelines.

“The Good Friday Agreement institutions, human rights guarantees, all-Ireland bodies, and the constitutional and legal rights of the people must all be protected.

“The approach, thus far, of the Taoiseach to these negotiations has fallen far short of what is both required and expected.

“The Taoiseach has a seat at the table. He will be in the room when decisions are taken. He has a responsibility to argue strongly for designated special status for the North within in the European Union.” 

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