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‘North must be protected from disastrous DUP Brexit’ – O’Neill

7 January, 2019 - by Michelle O'Neill

The DUP must not be allowed to force a disastrous ‘no-deal’ Brexit on the people of the North, Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill has said.

The Sinn Féin Vice President was commenting after DUP Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds warned that a no-deal crash was likely if there is no change to the Withdrawal Agreement endorsed by the British Government and the European Union.

Michelle O’Neill commented: “Brexit is only 14 weeks away yet the DUP are still refusing to accept the majority view of our people, business community and wider civic society who support the Withdrawal Agreement and the backstop as the best insurance policy to protect our economy, the Good Friday Agreement and to prevent a hard border.

“The deal currently on the table is by no means ideal, but it is the least bad option for Ireland.

“It is a moderate solution to a problem created in England and forced upon us against our will. By contrast, a no deal situation would be catastrophic for our economy and society.

“It would mean us all crashing out of the EU on 29 March 2019 with no terms of departure, and over a cliff-edge with supply shortages and many businesses unable to trade, resulting in job losses and a serious economic downturn.

“We will have practically no access to the EU single market; a physical hard border or EU frontier will be put in place in Ireland; and World Trade Organisation (WTO) trading rules will be applied.

“That cannot be allowed to happen and the DUP cannot be allowed to risk such a destructive outcome in its game of chicken with the British Government and the EU.

“Sinn Féin President Mary-Lou McDonald and I will be in Brussels on Wednesday to meet EU Chief negotiator Michel Barnier when we will again reiterate the importance of maintaining the backstop and protecting our economy and our island from the disaster that the DUP would be willing to force upon us all.”

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