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Government needs a consistent line on Brexit as expressed by Oireachtas – Conway-Walsh

18 May, 2017 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has called for greater consistency in the Government’s approach to Brexit across all Departments. She was speaking after a meeting of the Finance Committee where Brexit was discussed with John Callinan the second secretary general, at the Department of the Taoiseach with responsibility for formulating the Government’s response to Brexit.

The Senator from Mayo said:

“The Dáil voted on and passed a motion which specifically mandated the Government to ask for and push for special designated status for the north. It should follow that any civil servants engaged in work on Brexit, should reflect the democratic wishes of the Oireachtas. I was disappointed at the failure of government officials to recognise and acknowledge the significance of this motion.

“I was surprised to hear Government officials cast doubt on what special designated status means and how it may help mitigate the worst excesses of the Tory Brexit plans. Sinn Féin has produced a detailed document setting out the benefits of special designated status for the north of Ireland within the EU with a clear outline of the actions required to achieve it.

“The Government continues to engage with the EU and others by using language such as ‘flexible and imaginative solutions’. Terms such as this are diplomatic code for not having a clue what to do next.

“If the Government are not up to the task of defending the rights of the people of the north as expressed in the referendum to remain in the EU, they should take a lead from the many trade unions, community groups, and political parties who have

“I am also deeply concerned that after several months since Article 50 was triggered, there is a lack of urgency and certainty from Government Departments regarding the real life consequences of Brexit. A haulage driver travelling from Mayo to Belfast may cross anything up to four ‘Trade Facilitation Posts’. Up to 8% of traffic could be subject to manual inspection. So much of this scenario is speculation because the Government refuses to make available documents relating to post-Brexit arrangements. They need to be honest with the people and release this information. A consistent anti-Brexit approach as mandated by the Dáil is needed immediately.” 

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