British Government and EU must hold firm on Backstop - David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Brexit David Cullinane has said today that the British government needs to keep to its political promise to give legal effect to a backstop for the North, adding that such an arrangement is necessary for wider talks with the EU to progress.
Deputy Cullinane said:
"It has been increasingly clear for some months now that the British government sees an overall trade agreement as the best way to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.
"However, the backstop was agreed in case no such overall agreement comes to pass.
"It is an insurance policy, one that cannot be taken off the table while negotiations are ongoing.
“The British Prime Minister Teresa May must hold firm on seeking to make progress on Brexit negotiations.
“Internal divisions within the Tory party cannot damage the progress that has been made so far.
“The interests of a minority of hard Brexiteers cannot hold Ireland and the EU more broadly to ransom.
“Brexit was a Tory solution to a Tory problem.
"The 'backstop' or Irish protocol agreed last December is the bottom line for Ireland. The British government cannot negotiate downwards from that position.
“The Irish government need to make sure that we do not go into October with no resolution of the Irish issues – and if that needs a special EU summit in September to deal with the Irish issues then so be it.
"The Irish people need certainty, and it needs to be delivered now.”