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North’s democratic wish to remain in the EU must be a red line issue for the whole island – Tóibín

18 August, 2016

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Peadar Tóibín TD, has said it is critical that all possible alternatives are explored to ensure that the entire island of Ireland remains in the EU in the post-Brexit dispensation.

Teachta Tóibín said:

“The starting point for those of us in Ireland, north and south, in relation to the outworkings of Brexit on the island and the negotiations to come should not be an acceptance of inevitability that the north has to leave the EU, but must be about ensuring the vote of those who voted to remain on the island of Ireland is respected.

“Brexit, and indeed the prospect of Brexit, is already having a major impact on trade, employment, education, tourism and agriculture across the island and the longer the uncertainty of its impact ensures the worse the situation will get. 

“At the heart of the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement is the belief that the democratic will of the people of Ireland north and south is sacrosanct and supreme. What we need to see, well in advance of any triggering of Article 50 by the British government, is responsible all-Ireland dialogue with all parties and civic society working together in a constructive manner to ensure the democratic will of the people of the north is respected.

“We need the government to be ambitious, bold and creative for Ireland at this critical juncture and ensure that any Brexit negotiations address the immense challenges at hand, but also harness the opportunities - not least the potential to redesign the constitutional and political future of the island of Ireland - at play. That includes exploring all possible alternatives to ensure the entire island of Ireland remains in the EU.” 

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