Taoiseach must explain lack of progress for Ireland on Brexit – Cullinane
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Brexit David Cullinane TD today called on the Taoiseach to explain the lack of definitive progress in the Brexit talks on how Ireland will be affected, including no hard border on the island of Ireland; that the Good Friday Agreement will be protected in all its parts; and that the north will stay within the legal and human rights framework of the EU.
Deputy Cullinane said:
“The news that Britain and the EU will begin trade talks next week in the absence of any progress on Ireland is deeply worrying.
“We know that the border issue has been parked twice already - in December and again in March.
“Once full trade talks begin next week, Irish issues will be moved further down the agenda.
“At present, we do not have a legal guarantee, nor do we have even formal agreement between Britain and the EU as to how the border issue will be resolved.
“All that we have is an agreement that once a resolution is agreed, it will take the form of a protocol.
“This is again to saying that we don't know where we are going, but wherever we go we will get there by car.
“The legal form that the agreement eventually takes - its legal ‘mode of transport’ - not the key issue.
“What is agreed, and how it will work in practice - these are the things that matter; and on these we have silence.
“This is in stark contrast to the Taoiseach's pronouncements that the border was sorted and that he had secured a cast-iron guarantee on the issue.
“There is nothing of the sort.
“Every week that passes brings us closer to an overall agreement where Irish issues are pushed so far down the agenda, they might as well reside in limbo.
“We need a legal guarantee that there will be no hard border on the island of Ireland; that the Good Friday Agreement will be protected in all its parts; and that the north will stay within the legal and human rights framework of the EU.
“The only practical way to achieve this is through designated special status for the north within the EU.
“It is time for the Taoiseach to make that clear to Britain and the EU and to protect the interests of the people of the island of Ireland.”