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Adams calls for focus on September’s national forum/dialogue

2 August, 2016

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD, speaking in Dundalk today, called on the Taoiseach to “use the summer break positively to prepare the ground now for the national forum/dialogue which he has committed to setting up in September in response to Britain’s Brexit vote.”

Gerry Adams said:

“The Taoiseach should bring together elected representatives, North and South, during the summer break to begin the process of agreeing an agenda and format for September’s national forum/dialogue.” 

The Sinn Féin leader also rejected First Minister Arlene Foster’s dismissal of all Ireland talks on Brexit. He said: “if the DUP does not want to engage in such a dialogue that is a matter for them.

"However there is clearly a widespread opinion that recognises the importance of a co-ordinated response to the economic difficulties that are already emerging following the Brexit vote. There should be no vetoes over the development of an all-Ireland dialogue to meet the challenge of Brexit.”  

Gerry Adams said:

“When I first called for the establishment of a National Forum or dialogue in the wake of the referendum result in Britain Fianna Fáil and others were critical. However, in recent weeks they have become converted to the logic of this position. 

"There is a political and economic imperative on an island this small, with two economies, and with one part now being pulled out of the EU, for the greatest level of co-operation and co-ordination in how we respond.

"A national dialogue forum/conference which brings together political parties, civic society, business and the voluntary and community sectors is needed to assess the impact of Brexit, minimise its impact on peoples lives, protect jobs and the economy of the island, and ensure that the vote of citizens in the North to remain in the EU is respected.

"It is also clear that there is widespread concern in the North and along the border counties, within the business community, the voluntary and community sector, within the agriculture and tourism sectors that Brexit will adversely impact the economy of the region.

"Finally, no conversation about Brexit can be complete without a conversation also which provides citizens in the North with the option of staying within the European Union, within some new political construct on the island of Ireland.

"To make best use of this opportunity this should be an agenda item in the national forum/dialogue that the Taoiseach committed to establishing in September.”


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