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EU committee report expresses huge concern at impact of Brexit on Ireland - Anderson

30 January, 2017 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has expressed concern after a European Parliament report warned that the British government's Brexit agenda will require the Good Friday Agreement to be altered.

Speaking after the publication of a report from the Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs, Ms Anderson said;

"This report goes into considerable detail in relation to the processes and effects Brexit will have on the EU, Britain and, most importantly, Ireland. The document outlines a number of avenues open to the British government and the EU as they move forward with the formal negotiation process.

"Crucially, however, the report identifies a number of issues specific to Ireland. Central to this is the threat Brexit presents to the Good Friday Agreement and associated institutions. 

"This report acknowledges the positive impact European Union funding streams have had in the north and concludes that Brexit will have more than a financial impact on Ireland. It claims, 'The impact (of Brexit) will be political, in particular since the Good Friday Agreement - an international agreement - will require alteration... and economic/technical as the re-establishment of a hard border between the north and the south could provoke a reversal of improvements in cross-border trade.'

"In its conclusion, this report flies in the face of the comments made by the British Government in relation to Ireland and the question of a hard border. The British and Irish governments can no longer bury their heads in the sand on this issue.

"The only way to ensure that the devastation that will come with Brexit is avoided, is if the democratic wish of the people of the north of Ireland is respected and we remain in the EU. Sinn Féin has argued at a local, national and European level for a special designated status to assure the north remains in the EU. It is time for the Irish Government to join us in our call for special designated status for the north of Ireland, within the EU."

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