Government has to up its game on Brexit – Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has warned that “the crisis around Brexit, and the future arrangements for Louth and the Border region post Brexit, is now entering a critical phase. The Irish government needs to up its game to ensure a positive outcome in the talks between Britain and the European Union that are taking place this week.”
Gerry Adams said:
“Today sees the commencement in Brussels of the latest phase of Brexit negotiations. The agenda for these talks includes the implications for the Good Friday Agreement, the future arrangements for the Border, the rights of EU citizens in Britain and of British citizens in the EU, and the divorce Bill that the British have to pay on leaving the EU.
“In recent weeks, the British government has published a range of contradictory papers dealing with some of these matters. The papers have been widely criticised as lacking both depth or detail. The British claim that they want to retain the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts, and maintain free trade and movement of people between Ireland and Britain, is at odds with the decision to pull out of the single market, the customs union, and the European Court of Justice.
“The claim by the British that an invisible Border is possible on the island of Ireland has been described by some EU officials as ‘magical thinking’.
“The proposed so-called technical fixes by the British to eliminate checks on goods have been dismissed as insufficient. Their repeated use of the phrase ‘flexible and imaginative solutions’ without providing clear proposals to achieve any of these is not helping to resolve a difficult situation of their making.
“The British government rejection of the European Court of Justice and their failure to give a long-term commitment to the European Convention on Human Rights are a direct attack on the Good Friday Agreement.
“Crucially, the EU has promised to publish a position paper on Ireland in early September. Given the anticipated detrimental impact on Louth and the Border region especially, the Irish government must engage forcefully with the EU to ensure that this paper reflects the best interests of both economies on the island, and in particular of County Louth and the Border region.”
In concluding, the Louth TD gave a cautious welcome to the decision by the British Labour Party to seek continued British membership of the single market and customs union during any transitional arrangement.
“This is an important development. Greater encouragement must be given to the debate within Britain about its future relationship with the EU. However, Sinn Fein remains convinced that the best outcome for the two economics on the island of Ireland is for the North to be designated a special status within the EU.”