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‘Theresa May can’t be allowed to renege on backstop commitment’ – O’Neill

19 July, 2018 - by Michelle O'Neill

The Irish Government and the European nations must ensure there is no final Brexit agreement without a legal backstop that prevents a hard border in Ireland, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill has said.

 Speaking as the British Prime Minister visited Fermanagh today, Michelle O’Neill accused Theresa May of attempting to renege on the commitments she made in December.

 “Two years on from the Brexit Referendum and Theresa May has finally decided to make a visit to a border constituency.

 “She will hear at first hand the catastrophic implications for our economy, our rights and our future. The fears that businesses have for their future survival.  The justified fears of individuals in relation to the diminution of their rights.  

 “She will hear the dismay and alarm that exists here in this community. 

 “That sense of alarm increased this week, when Theresa May effectively tore up her own Brexit proposals in order to placate the hardline Brexiteers and the DUP. 

 “In doing so she has made the prospects for a hard Brexit or a crash scenario all the more likely. 

 “The last two years can only be characterised as chaos, confusion and contradiction. 

 “The Tory party is in internal crisis.  It has failed to negotiate with the EU.  It has tried to resile from its commitments on the Irish Protocol and Backstop which they made back in December. 

 “This is totally unacceptable.  

“Sinn Féin will meet with Theresa May on Friday and we will set out our serious concerns in regards to her government’s chaos and their blatant disregard for the citizens of the north.  

 “We will remind the British Prime Minister of the agreement she made back in December. 

 “We will point out to her that there can be no withdrawal agreement without a legally operable backstop. 

“We will not tolerate the British Government trampling over our rights, our economy, our jobs or our services for Teresa Mays’ political expediency. 

 “This is a time for cast iron guarantees.  For legal assurances on the Backstop and Irish protocol.  

 “The Irish government and the EU 27 must stand firm in the face of this dangerous agenda. 

 “Sinn Féin will be holding them to account to ensure this happens.”

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