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British dismissal of Irish interests must be met with firm stance and actions – Senator Rose Conway-Walsh

16 January, 2019 - by Rose Conway-Walsh

Sinn Féin Senator Rose Conway-Walsh has said that the appropriate response to Brexit chaos in Westminster is immediate action by the Irish Government to hold firm on the backstop guarantee and to complete and communicate strong contingency plans for all outcomes.
Speaking today the Mayo senator said:
“Sinn Féin pressed hard in negotiations for a backstop that would avoid a hard border on the island. We achieved this through consistent engagement and pressure in Brussels, Dublin and elsewhere. 

"I hope the backstop never needs to be invoked. Nor do I want to see a no deal scenario. However, the reality is that chaos in Westminster means any number of things could happen.

"Brexit does not just affect businesses now, it affects whole communities and families. It is now up to the Irish Government to come up with, and implement contingency plans to protect citizens and businesses across the island.
"I am concerned that the Government is over relying on the EU producing a plan which will not take into account the unique circumstances in Ireland.

"Our agri-food sector is particularly vulnerable. In the absence of any firm commitment by the Irish Government Sinn Féin are calling for an agri-food fund to be set up under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund to address currency issues.

"State Aid rules need to be eased to directly help exporters. Transport routes from major ports and airports need to be upgraded.
"All this will not happen on its own. We need to see the heads of bills of the Government’s proposed legislation.

"This will ensure that the measures can be properly examined and debated and would also give some measure of assurance to those most at risk that there are clear actions being undertaken.

"The impact of a hard Brexit is not just economic. The constitutional issue comes to the fore and a referendum on Irish unity has to be undertaken to allow people to decide on their own future."

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