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‘Lords report is further evidence of special status case’ - O'Dowd

19 July, 2017 - by John O'Dowd

Today’s report from the House of Lords EU Committee is further evidence of the need for special status enabling the North to remain within the EU, Sinn Féin Brexit spokesperson John O’Dowd has said.

The Upper Bann MLA was reacting to the committee’s report which found that Brexit will have a unique impact on the North of Ireland and that the specific circumstances here will need to be addressed during the Brussels negotiations. 

“The best way to achieve that is by ensuring designated special status to remain within the EU,” he commented.

“That is the only way to give effect to the majority vote in favour of staying within the EU and it is the only way to prevent the catastrophic impact of Brexit on the island of Ireland such as the imposition of a new frontier and the ending of vital subsidies and access to European markets.

“The EU's support for our peace process has also been instrumental in strengthening and building communities here and promoting cross-community work. The PEACE funding programmes are unique in Europe and have brought billions to the north in recent years. 

“All of that is put at risk by Brexit and today’s report is only the latest in a long line of evidence that demonstrates the unique impact that it will have on the island of Ireland. These circumstances need to be taken into account in the Brexit negotiations and the Irish Government in particular needs to prioritise special status as the best way to avoid the disastrous impact that Brexit will have right across Ireland.”

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