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European Council guidelines and Barnier Directives on Brexit show Government is failing to stand up for Ireland– Adams

3 May, 2017 - by Gerry Adams TD


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has said that the European Council negotiating guidelines and the Barnier Directives on Brexit could have gone considerably further if the Irish government had sought a more concrete recognition of Ireland’s needs.

Teachta Adams said that the lack of substance in the Barnier directive published today is reflective of the Government’s failing approach to Brexit and the Taoiseach’s unwillingness to stand-up for the rights of all the people of the island.

Speaking today after he raised the issue with Minister Richard Burton at Leaders Questions, Gerry Adams said:

“Today, Michel Barnier has published the negotiating directives for the European Commission. These are in line with the European Council guidelines. That means that they are generally vague and aspirational.

“This is not the fault of Michel Barnier or indeed the European Commission. It is the responsibility of An Taoiseach.

“The record of this and the last Government in dealing with our European partners is not a good one.

“The European Council guidelines and the Barnier Directives could have gone considerably further if the Irish Government had sought a more concrete recognition of Ireland’s needs.

“It means there will now be a huge amount to do in the coming negotiations.

“I do not know if the Taoiseach will be around to follow that through or whether he will hand it to someone else when he finishes his long goodbye.

“The Taoiseach must explain why the government will not seek support for Designated Special Status for the North within the EU and why it will not seek a veto for Ireland on any agreement reached between the EU and Britain that does not include this provision.

“The Government is clearly unwilling to stand up for the rights of all the people of the island.” 

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