Government attitude and approach to Brexit lacks political will to protect North – David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin Brexit spokesperson David Cullinane TD has today criticised the Irish government for its approach to Brexit, saying it appears it has all but given up on the issue of the border.
Speaking in relation to the leaked document from the Revenue Commissioners, Deputy Cullinane said:
"It has been clear that the attitude of the Irish government has changed in recent weeks in relation to Brexit.
"We have seen them go from talking of no border on the island to talking of no physical border infrastructure; a subtle but worrying change.
"The document from the Revenue Commissioners highlights the challenges of Brexit but offers nothing but technocratic solutions.
"Exporters to the UK will require special permits; importers will have to arrange custom clearance; temporary storage will be required; VAT will be levied at point of import.
"The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said on numerous occasions that the border is more than about trade.
"It is incredible that the Irish government will approach the border issue purely from a customs perspective. Not even the EU has taken such a line.
"The report shows yet again the necessity of designated special status for the North of Ireland within the EU as a means of protecting the Good Friday Agreement and to avoid a border on the island of Ireland.
"This must also mean that the North remaining within the customs union and single market.
"It is simply not acceptable for the government to move away from the issue of the north and to allow the border to be subsumed into the wider trade talks.
"If that is allowed to happen the special and unique case of the North will be lost in the wider negotiations, and we will see the route between Dundalk and Newry treated the same way as the route between Dover and Calais.
"That would be a horrendous disaster for the island.
"The three issues of the North, citizens’ rights, and the divorce payment, must be dealt with before stand II begins.
"Now is the time for Fine Gael to stand up for the interests of the island of Ireland."