‘The DUP don’t speak for the people on Brexit’ – O’Neill
Today’s joint statement makes clear to the European Union and British Government that the DUP do not speak for the people of the North on Brexit, Sinn Féin Deputy leader Michelle O’Neill has said.
Speaking from Stormont where the leaders of Sinn Féin, the SDLP, the Alliance and Green parties set out a joint position on Brexit, Michelle O’Neill commented: “The Brexit negotiations are at a crucial point in resolving all outstanding issues relating to Ireland, North and South, and the future relationship.
“The European Council meets next month and time is of the essence.
“The parties represented here today have a strong mandate to represent and defend local interests.
“The joint statement we have agreed has been sent to both governments and the European Commission Brexit negotiators so there can be no doubt that our voice is being heard.
“While we may not agree on everything as regards Brexit, we do share a common position that we cannot withstand exclusion from the single market or customs union;
“That the protection of the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts, including North/South and East/West co-operation is critical to maintaining relationships within, and between these islands;
“That the backstop agreed by both the British Government and the EU27 is the bottom line in order to safeguard our political and economic stability now and for the future.
“Michele Barnier on his visit here made it very clear that the EU are not mediators, but negotiators, acting on behalf of the whole EU 27 and that they need a resolution from the British government of the outstanding issues not through opinion pieces or keynote speeches, but a legal Withdrawal Agreement.
“The DUP may have a mandate but it is absolutely clear to everyone here today –and to the European negotiators – that they do not speak for the people of the North on Brexit.”