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Taoiseach must insist that commitments made are commitments honoured – Mary Lou McDonald TD

16 October, 2018 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD


Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that the Taoiseach must defend and promote an all-island view when he travels to the European Council meeting tomorrow.

Speaking in the Dáil this afternoon, Deputy McDonald said:

“Last December, the British government signed up to a deal to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and to safeguard the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts.

“That deal - we were told - was to provide for a ‘backstop’ that would recognise the unique circumstances of the north - and the rest of the island - in the event that a suitable free trade deal is not agreed in the future.

“We were told at the time that the agreed arrangement would be enshrined in an operable, legal text by March. That didn’t happen.

“We were then told that the British government would produce firm proposals by the time of the June meeting of the European Council. That didn’t happen.

“The latest proposal - for a time limited ‘backstop’ - means, in reality, no ‘backstop’ at all.

“I met with the British Prime Minister yesterday and put that to her bluntly.

“I told her she needs to live up to the commitments she made last December and that nothing less will do.

“Regrettably, her toxic deal with the DUP has undermined progress. The DUP have moved from a position of trying to prevent a hard border, to actively promoting one.

“But the reality is that the DUP do not represent the majority of citizens in the north - who oppose Brexit - and who voted to remain.

“Tomorrow at the European Council meeting, the Taoiseach must insist that commitments made are commitments honoured.

“Last December the Taoiseach said he had a cast iron guarantee in respect of Ireland.  Nothing less than that will do. Nothing less than that is acceptable.”

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