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Taoiseach’s lack of concern for legal text of Irish Brexit Backstop a ‘dangerous absurdity’ – McDonald

10 July, 2018 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Commenting on the Taoiseach’s assertion that he is not worried about the legal text of the Irish Brexit Backstop, Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD said;

“The Taoiseach said he is not ‘hung up’ on legal text when it comes to protecting Ireland's interests. That is absurd. He has insinuated that the Backstop as outlined in March might be open to renegotiation, which may lead to a softening of the current position. That is extremely dangerous ground onto which the Irish government is moving.

“The Backstop is the bottom line, the bare minimum needed. It cannot be negotiated down, diluted or diminished.

“The Taoiseach must obtain essential legal protections. He cannot allow the Irish question to be rolled into negotiations on the new relationship between Britain and the EU.”

The Taoiseach’s comments came in response to Ms McDonald during Leaders’ Questions where she told the Taoiseach that the Government cannot be distracted by Tory Brexit infighting and must focus on delivering for Ireland.

 “We still have no workable solutions from the British government. We still have no legal guarantees from Theresa May on the political agreement made last December, a political agreement that you, Taoiseach, described as ‘cast iron’.

“The Chequers document only makes a passing reference to a backstop. Speculation is that the White Paper, the publication of which we await, will contain something similarly vague.

“To add to that, Mrs May confirmed to the House of Commons yesterday that she would not sign up to the December Backstop.

“Achieving legal guarantees that protect Ireland’s interests, north and south, is essential. It is Essential to bring clarity and certainty for our people, our all-island economy, and our agreements.” 

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