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Basic protections agreed for Ireland cannot be set aside – McDonald

14 January, 2019 - by Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said the EU backstop cannot be set aside or diluted. 

Speaking from Stormont after she and Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Michelle O’Neill met leaders of the north’s main political parties, Mary Lou McDonald said: 

"Whatever transpires at Westminster it is essential that Irish interests are protected; that the economy is protected and that the Good Friday Agreement is protected in all its parts. 

"We have commitments from our partners at an EU level that the needs of this island north and south have been recognised and will be protected. 

“Sinn Féin expects those commitments to be honoured and that is what we have been making clear to the Irish government and the EU. 

"There is no such thing as a good Brexit but the backstop is the bottom line. Anyone who imagines that can be unpicked or diluted or set aside isn't dealing with the political realities. 

"The DUP position on Brexit is reckless and irresponsible. It certainly is not in the interests of the people of the north of Ireland. 

"I would urge all political leaders to act in the interests of workers, of communities, of society and political stability. 

"The basic protections agreed for Ireland are not to be reopened or renegotiated and neither the people of Ireland or our agreements can become collateral damage in a disastrous Brexit."  

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