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British government on a dangerous collision course with Ireland and EU - O’Neill

23 June, 2018 - by Michelle O'Neill


Sinn Féin deputy Leader, Michelle O’Neill MLA has criticised Theresa May and the British Government, two years on to the day of the Brexit referendum. Michelle O’Neill said the British Government is on a dangerous collision course with Ireland and the rest of the EU, and has repeated Sinn Féin calls for the North to be designated special status within the EU.

She says, “This day two years ago on 23rd June 2016, 56% of the people in the north of Ireland voted to remain in the EU. They did so because it is in our best interests politically and economically to do so.

“There is massive concern in the north and across Ireland about the economic consequences of Brexit and the negative implications for key sectors of our economy which are becoming clear.

“What is certain is there is no good outcome from Brexit and there is no way to manage or minimise the negative impact of Brexit. 

“The North being forced to leave the EU against the expressed wishes of its people represents a major set-back for the political process in the north, directly challenges the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement and will have huge consequences for protections contained within it. It also fundamentally undermines the principle of consent.

“Sinn Féin believes the only credible approach is for the north to be designated a special status within the EU and for the whole island of Ireland to remain within the EU together.”

She added, “A senior Sinn Féin delegation met with the British Prime Minister earlier this week. We told Theresa May that their reckless Brexit is certain to cause untold social and economic damage to the whole of Ireland, including to those citizens the DUP claim to represent. It is mindless and a gross act of political vandalism.

“We told her we must stay within both the customs union and single market and that there can be no hard border in Ireland.

“This is critical to protecting investment, jobs, trade and the integrity of the peace process.

“The backstop agreed by the British and EU27 in December of last year is our insurance policy and it is the bottom line.

“The onus is on all political leaders to defend our political and economic interests but particularly so on the Irish Government who must stand firm in defending the interests of the entire island of Ireland and the rights of all citizens.” 

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