‘Back to Square One’ with a weakened May on Brexit – Cullinane
The continued disarray of the British cabinet makes the prospect of a hard Brexit increasingly likely, said Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Brexit David Cullinane, adding that the Irish government's ‘cast-iron’ guarantee is on similarly shaky ground.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“Theresa May has once again lost control of Brexit.
“The idea that Britain can have an a-la-carte Brexit has resurfaced on the back of her special cabinet meeting in Chequers.
“This has been completely dismissed as ‘pure illusion’ by European Council President Donald Tusk.
“The air of unreality that surrounds the Tory party makes the prospect of a hard Brexit increasingly likely.
“This brings into sharp focus once again the possibility of a hard border on the island of Ireland.
“Taoiseach Varadkar and Minister Coveney insist they have a ‘cast-iron’ guarantee to avoid such a scenario.
“Currently, all that they have is a promise - a gentleman's agreement as the EU council put it - that Britain will abide by an agreement in the absence of one.
“The plan to translate this into a protocol is itself turning into a kicking the can down the road exercise.
“Unless Britain and the EU sign an actual legal agreement next month to give effect to the protocol, it will be once again a formula of words with no legal bearing.
“It is time for the Taoiseach and his Ministers to focus on securing special status for the north.
“This means the north staying in the customs union and the single market, and within the EU legal framework.
“It is time for the Irish government to work to secure this for the benefit of all the people on this island.”