National interest must be to the fore following triggering of Article 50 – Adams
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has today said that the Irish Government must commit to working meaningfully with all political parties and all stakeholders in the aftermath of the triggering of Article 50 and the formal beginning of the Brexit process tomorrow.
He said that ‘Brexit presents a very dangerous situation for Ireland, north and south, but that threat can be minimised and a special designated status for the north within the European Union can be secured, if all of us work together in pursuit of that goal’.
Teachta Adams said:
“Tomorrow, the British Government will trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to begin the exit process from the European Union, which will have the effect of forcing the north out of the EU against the expressed wishes of citizens, if the British Government gets it way.
“This represents a major set-back for the political process, directly challenges the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement and will have dire consequences for the protections contained within it and the legislative competence of the Assembly.
“The EU has been a critical partner for peace in Ireland, providing substantial political and financial aid, which has led to greater economic and social progress on an all-island basis.
“The return to a physical or economic border on the island of Ireland is totally unacceptable.
“It is now crucial that the Irish Government acts on the Dáil motion passed in February which calls for the north to be afforded special designated status within the EU so that the whole island of Ireland can remain within the EU together.
“It is an unprecedented situation which requires an unprecedented response. That means the Taoiseach entering the forthcoming negotiations with a clear plan to defend the democratic mandate of citizens on this island and to act in Ireland’s national interests.
“Sinn Féin will support him if he pursues that path, and I am sure other parties and stakeholders will join us in that, if the government puts our national interests front and centre.
“That means the Irish Government working meaningfully with all political parties and all stakeholders in the aftermath of the triggering of Article 50 tomorrow; something they have failed to do thus far.
“Brexit presents a very dangerous situation for Ireland, north and south, but that threat can be minimised and a special designated status for the north within the EU can be secured, if all of us work together in pursuit of that goal.”