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The North needs more than a back-stop deal on Brexit – Cullinane

6 December, 2017 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Brexit David Cullinane TD said today that the government's plans for regulatory alignment will not be enough to protect the Good Friday Agreement and secure special status for the north. 

Deputy Cullinane said:

“British Prime Minister Theresa May said today once again that the north will be leaving the customs union and single market.

“The Irish Government, however, is happy to let the memo on the north and the border to be seen as securing the north within the customs union and single market.

“However, there are problems with the Irish government's approach. 

“The proposal for a back-stop of regulatory alignment solves one problem but opens up others.

“While Irish goods on the island of Ireland seemingly will be free of tariffs and checks under the arrangement, goods from the other 26 members of the EU will be subject to checks if those goods cross the border outside of a British-EU free trade agreement.

“This will mean that there will be border checks on the island of Ireland. There is simply no way to avoid them for non-Irish goods. 

“The British Government, the EU, and the Irish government believe that these issues can be worked out in a parallel Irish strand to the next round of talks on trade.

“This is taking a leap in the dark. 

“The British prime minister is still trying to pretend that the North can leave the customs union and single market and avoid a hard border. 

“In terms of the Good Friday Agreement, we have heard nothing about the future role of the European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights in the North.

“Similarly, while the government says that Irish citizens in the north will have full EU rights conferred on them, it appears they will not be able to exercise those rights in the North.

“These are all genuine concerns and they were supposed to have been worked on during the present round of talks. 

“The Government needs to reaffirm its commitment to the Good Friday Agreement by ensuring that the agreement stays within the EU legal framework, that the north stays in the customs union and single market, and that the rights of EU citizens in the north are affirmed in the north.” 

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