Gerry Adams TD warns of fallout from Brexit
Sinn Féin President and Louth TD Gerry Adams speaking in New York last night on the issue of Brexit repeated Sinn Féin’s firm view that the only way to protect the two economies on the island of Ireland is for the North to have a designated special status within the EU.
The Sinn Féin leader criticised the Irish government’s stance which repeats ad nauseum the need for the North to be treated in a ‘special’ way because of its 'special circumstances’ but does not support special designated status within the EU for the North. This adds to the uncertainty.
Speaking in New York, Teachta Adams said:
“In recent weeks a series of significant reports have warned of the potential disastrous fallout from Brexit for the island of Ireland. Last week a report, ‘UK in a Changing Europe’, said there would be 'serious political and economic implications’ for the North.
"In a report by the British House of Lords they said that the North ‘will be profoundly affected by Brexit. There will be a significant impact, including on cross-border trade, the agri-food sector, energy, transport, fisheries, access to EU labour, healthcare provision, tourism and police and security cooperation.’
"Two further reports by the Institute of International and European Affairs and the Seanad focused on the environmental consequences of Brexit and concerns that environmental regulations might be dropped or diluted. In its report the Seanad called for the island of Ireland to be ‘considered a single bio-geographical unit’ in order to protect the environment.
"The Irish government’s refusal to support special designated status within the EU for the North adds to this uncertainty.
"It is a denial of the majority vote in the North in the June 2016 referendum to remain within the EU. It also puts at risk the two economies on the island of Ireland.
"The implications from Brexit for jobs and investment for the island as a whole and especially for the border region and the North are enormous. Sinn Féin’s objective of achieving designated special status for the North within the EU offers the best hope for protecting the rights and jobs of citizens.
"The majority of TDs in the Dáil, like the majority of MLAs in the Assembly, already support special designated status.
"The Irish government needs to make this a priority, particularly in light of the failure to make progress in the second round of negotiations last week between the British and EU negotiating teams.
"The goal must be to ensure that all of Ireland can remain a member of the Single Market and the Common Travel area, that EU funding streams can continue to be accessed, that the rights of Irish citizens in the North are protected and that trading arrangements, North and South and between Ireland and Britain are secure.
"This is crucial if the two economies on the island of Ireland are to be protected.”