Government urged to oppose Direct Rule – Adams
Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has warned that the consequences of a hard Brexit in October for the people of Louth and of the border communities, and “for the Good Friday Agreement, and for the restoration of the political institutions in the North, are not good.
Teachta Adams called on the Irish government to go beyond the rhetoric and oppose any decision by the British government to introduce Direct Rule.
The Louth Sinn Féin TD was speaking in the Dáil in a debate on the Government’s Contingency Action Plan Update.
Teachta Adams said:
“As we know, the power sharing government was stood down by Martin McGuinness because it was not fit for purpose. So far, talks have failed to bring the DUP to accept the imperative of a rights based, Good Friday Agreement dispensation. The British government has also failed to fulfil their obligations even before Brexit.”
Referencing the Tánaiste’s Dáil remarks about the “impact of tariffs, and of customs, and associated checks, necessary to preserve this state’s full participation in the single market and customs union”, Teachta Adams asked about the “many previous assertions by the Tánaiste and the Taoiseach that there will be no physical infrastructure or related checks or controls.
“What does this mean for the tens of thousands of citizens who travel across the border every day. Whose land straddles the border. Whose homes straddle the border. What happens to the people who have to travel to and from work, the farm, school, their business or socially?
“Minister Ross confirmed to me yesterday that the government has asked the EU Commission to exercise its right to set aside the use of the so-called Green Cards for drivers. Thus far, the EU appears to be saying NO.”
The Louth TD also appealed to the Tánaiste “and to the government and others to stop, in the interests of geographical accuracy, describing this state as Ireland. This is not Ireland. Its title is the Republic of Ireland. Ireland is the entire island as we all know.”
Concluding, Gerry Adams reminded the government that citizens in the North voted to remain in the EU. The government must uphold this.
He also called on the government to state its implacable opposition to direct rule and to use its diplomatic services to assert this.
“It is the future of the Good Friday Agreement and of the political institutions that are of the greatest concern. Under Theresa May the Tories were committed to scrapping the Human Rights Act and undermining the core human rights values of the Good Friday Agreement. Under Mr. Johnson or Mr Hunt that stance is likely to harden.
“We must always remember Tánaiste that the people of the North voted to remain within the EU. That democratic vote needs to be upheld.
“In its Contingency Action Plan Update, the government concludes that there is, and I quote; ‘a risk that the UK government might initiate a move to Direct Rule’ as a response to managing the new post-Brexit situation.
“So, having identified that risk what is the government doing about this? Has the government spoken directly to the British government on this? Will the Minister confirm that the government is implacably opposed to the imposition of Direct Rule?
“And will the government move beyond the rhetoric and if the British government move in that direction will you commit to using our diplomatic services and all available international forum to prevent this?”