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Good Friday Agreement should be protocol in any Brexit withdrawal agreement - Gerry Adams TD

21 September, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD welcomed Mr Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s Brexit coordinator, to the Dáil this morning.

The Sinn Féin leader especially welcomed the call by Mr Verhofstadt for the North to remain within the Customs Union and the Single Market.

Mr Adams also called for the Good Friday Agreement to be included as a Protocol in any withdrawal treaty as a means of providing legal protection for it following Brexit.

Speaking in the Dáil Gerry Adams welcomed “very much the content of Mr Verhofstadt’s speech”.

He said:

“In your speech today you acknowledge that people are very critical of the European Union, and that is Sinn Féin’s position. We want a more democratic, demilitarised, peaceful European Union, which embraces economic and social justice, international solidarity, and an end to poverty.

Notwithstanding that we campaigned in the North for a Remain vote because it is our view that to have one part of the island outside the EU and the other inside is just folly.

The people in the North supported that position. They voted to remain within the European Union and we believe that vote should be upheld and actively defended.

The various policy positions unveiled by the British Government in recent months, including leaving the Customs Union, will cost jobs, and undermine our economies and subvert sectors on both parts of the island.

I particularly want to welcome your remarks on the Good Friday Agreement. I know that you value the peace process. And I understand that you met with party colleagues in Belfast yesterday, including Martina Anderson our group leader in the European Parliament, with our national spokesperson on Brexit David Cullinane, Michelle O’Neill and our MPs and MLAs.

I think your description of the border and of partition is very much appreciated, as are your warnings of the dire consequences if it is reinforced.

I want to welcome your suggestion that the North remain within the Customs Union and the Single Market. That would effectively be the designated status for the North which we are campaigning for and which the Dáil and a majority of MLAs and members of the European Parliament are in support of.

Finally, the threat, the danger to the Good Friday Agreement could be averted if the Good Friday Agreement was incorporated in full as a protocol in the withdrawal agreement.” 

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