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O’Neill makes case for Brexit alternative for North

20 September, 2017 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin Leader in the North Michelle O’Neill has told the EU Parliament’s top Brexit official that it would be disastrous for the island of Ireland if the North is excluded from the single market and customs union.

During talks with the EU Parliament’s chief Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt in Stormont today, Michelle O’Neill also warned against any return to the borders of the past and the potential of Brexit to undermine the Good Friday Agreement and deny citizens access to the protections of the European Courts.

“I want to thank Guy Verhofstadt for coming here today to listen to our concerns directly and I believe it was a constructive discussion,” she commented.

“Guy Verhofstadt is very aware of Sinn Féin’s concerns about the impact Brexit will have on the island of Ireland.

“We simply cannot withstand any exclusion from the single market and customs union, allow the return of borders of the past or deny citizens access to the European Courts of Justice.

“So there is an urgent need for new thinking and that isn’t likely to come from the Tories who are clearly in disarray and simply see Ireland as collateral damage in their reckless Brexit agenda.

“Thankfully, the European side is listening to our concerns. That is evidenced by the fact they have made Ireland a priority in their negotiations with the British Government. We greatly welcome that and will continue our intensive engagement right across Europe in the weeks and months ahead.

“Today’s meeting was part of that ongoing process to press the case for the North to be granted special status to remain in the EU because that is the only credible way to prevent the catastrophe that Brexit will visit upon Ireland.” ENDS/CRÍOCH

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