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Backstop means Backstop and June means June – Cullinane

8 June, 2018 - by David Cullinane TD


Sinn Féin TD and spokesperson for Brexit David Cullinane said today that the dithering over the backstop agreement cannot be allowed to continue, that the Irish people need certainty, and that this issue must be resolved at the EU summit at the end of June.

Speaking today, Deputy Cullinane said:

“I welcome the comments by Michel Barnier that ‘backstop means backstop’. 

“He is correct to point out that the arrangement can only apply to the north of Ireland and not to Britain.

“The reason for this is simple: the backstop is an insurance policy for the north in the absence of a new trade agreement between Britain and the EU.

“Its purpose is to address the special and unique circumstances at play on the island of Ireland and to ensure that no hard border emerges via the implementation of World Trade Organisation rules.

“It is not possible, therefore, to have a temporary backstop.

“It has to be in place for as long as there is an absence of a trade agreement that avoids a hard border.

“The British proposals would scrap the backstop altogether.

“This cannot be allowed to happen.

“However, despite Mr Barnier’s words on the backstop, he made it clear that autumn is not the new deadline.

“We have been here before.

“The Irish government told us in December that it had a cast-iron guarantee.

“It reiterated those sentiments in March.

“Time and again we have seen the issue of the island of Ireland post-Brexit kicked down the road.

“The Irish government must ensure that in terms of resolving this issue, June means June, and it should hit the pause button on talks if this does not happen.

“The Irish people need certainty, and it needs to be delivered now.” 

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