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Anderson raises concerns over British government Brexit approach with Barnier and Varadkar

26 March, 2018 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has written to the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar expressing concern that the British government is failing to live up to its commitments.  

Martina Anderson said: 

"From years of dealing with the British government we know only too well that they are perfectly capable of going back on previous agreements, just as they have done with the Good Friday Agreement. 

"I have now written to the EU's Chief negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier, expressing concern about the attitude of the British government during the Brexit negotiations and concerns that the EU is allowing this.

"We are concerned the British government have not accepted the draft protocol, and that in allowing the negotiations to move to Phase 2 issues, the Council has taken the pressure off the British government to face up to the commitments they made in the Joint Report in December.

"The British government intend to take what is already a minimal legal interpretation of the Joint report and to negotiate downwards on it.

"They had to be dragged into accepting there needs to be a backstop, while saying that it will not be the backstop of the proposed legal text, which is based on the Joint Report from December.

"We can already see that the British government are recycling and repackaging proposals that were unacceptable to the EU last year, and are attempting to use the border in Ireland as a negotiation point to suit British ends, to the detriment of Ireland and the EU.

"This raises concerns that the British government feel they have the measure of the EU in these negotiations and it is vital that the EU acts to ensure there is no concession on the substance of what has been agreed to date. 

"I have also sent the letter to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to make it clear to him that the British government cannot be allowed to roll back from the commitments it has already entered into." 

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