'Backstop' must be protected and built upon - McCallion
Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion has said the Irish government and EU must ensure the Brexit 'backstop' option is protected and built upon to avoid any hardening of the border.
Speaking during a panel debate on Brexit at the MacGill Summer School in Glenties, the Foyle MP said:
"Regardless of what Theresa May or her Brexiteer allies in the DUP say, the only way that we can avoid a hardening of the border is if the north of Ireland remains in the Customs Union and Single Market under the auspices of the European Court of Justice.
"The EU and the Irish Government recognise that and that is why we have the ‘backstop,' which must be protected.
"Representing a border area like Derry I know the economic damage any hardening of the border will cause.
"The backstop option is the absolute bare minimum. It must be maintained and turned into legally binding text in the Withdrawal Agreement. In our view it does not go far enough and we want to see it built upon. Significant elements of the Single Market are not included, especially services.
"As the British cabinet becomes mired in more chaos, its strategy is clear; they trying to run down the clock, while dressing up old, already dismissed proposals, as new proposals and try to increase the pressure on the EU 27.
"We can have no backsliding from the Irish Government. This cannot become about saving Theresa May from the Brexiteers; this must remain about protecting Ireland north and south from Brexit."