North staying in the customs union and single market, and Protection of Good Friday Agreement must be red-line issues for EU - David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for foreign Affairs and Brexit David Cullinane TD welcomes commitments given today by Mr. Verhofstadt that the North would stay in the customs union and the single market and that the Good Friday Agreement would be protected in all its parts, but warned against Brexit being used as a power grab by the European Union.
Speaking on the occasion of Guy Verhofstadt's appearance in the Dáil, Deputy Cullinane said:
"I welcome Mr. Verhofstadt's commitment to support the interests of the people of the island of Ireland in the Brexit negotiations.
"Commitments such as the north staying in the customs union and single market, and protecting the Good Friday Agreement in its entirety must be red-line issues.
"We need legal guarantees, not just fine words.
"Sinn Féin believes that the EU needs to be reformed.
"The fact that the EU sacrificed the people of Ireland and Greece to save French and German banks has not been lost on ordinary people.
"Greater federalism was rejected by the people of France and the Netherlands in 2005 - yet despite this the EU went ahead and pushed through Lisbon.
"The Lisbon treaty itself was rejected by votes in the Republic yet it made no difference.
"The enforcement of austerity by the ECB made the problem worse - giving rise to opposition that federalists dismiss as 'populism'.
There are many different reforms the EU can undertake, but federalism is not one of them.
"What the EU needs is more democracy not more bureaucracy.
"We need more accountability in the EU, and Brexit should not be used as a way of shaping the EU towards a federalist structure that the majority of people do not want."