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Citizens’ real and genuine concerns on Brexit must be addressed – Adams

9 December, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD said today that the real and genuine concerns of citizens must be addressed in any final deal on Brexit and that Sinn Féin will continue to make the case for special status for the north. 

Speaking at a launch of his new book Never Give Up in West Belfast today Gerry Adams said:

“Sinn Féin has given a very cautious and qualified welcome to the communique yesterday from EU negotiators.

“It is not the conclusion of the process or final deal on Brexit.

“It sets out broad principles and represents some progress but there are many unanswered questions around key issues and the Irish government must remain focussed and vigilant. 

“The communiqué does recognise the unique and special circumstances of the north, on the peace process, and the border and that the Good Friday Agreement is fundamental to this deal and to any eventual agreement. 

“It does not address some of the key concerns of citizens, particulary those living in the north and in the border region.

“The insistence by the British that Britain and the North must leave the customs union and the single market are of particular concern.  This stance presents a real and live danger to the economies of this island and to the Good Friday Agreement.

“This contradicts the British Prime Minister’s claim that there will not be a hard economic border.

“The communique sheds no light on the future role of the European Court of Justice and in particular the right of EU citizens in the north to be able to access the Court and EU institutions.

“In addition the British government’s current position is to end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice; to withdraw from the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; and to repeal the Human Rights Act, by which the European Convention of Human Rights is incorporated into British law.

“This directly threatens the role of the European institutions and the Human Rights elements and safeguards which are fundamental to the Good Friday Agreement.

“These are all real and genuine concerns in light of the British Prime Minister’s restatement of her position yesterday that the North will no longer be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. 

“The Irish government needs to be very conscious that the refusal to embrace rights is at the heart of the current difficulties in the political institutions and the collapse of the Executive.

“Our experience through years of agreements with Britain is that the devil is in the detail.

“Sinn Féin will continue to make the case for special status for the north, we will continue to articulate that our society needs to remain in the customs union and the single market because that is the best way to protect north/south east/west trade, citizens’ rights and ensure no reintroduction of any kind of border.” ENDS/CRÍOCH

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