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EU and Irish Government must act to defend Ireland, North and South, in Brexit negotiations - Carthy

29 March, 2017 - by Matt Carthy MEP

Speaking following the announcement that the British government have officially triggered Article 50 and so beginning the process of a withdrawal from the European Union, Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, said:

“The British Government has today initiated the process of exiting the European Union.

“This development has grave implications for the island of Ireland as the British Government insists on dragging the North of Ireland out of the EU also, against the will of the people there.

“This scenario presents huge challenges, undermining the Good Friday Agreement and threatening two decades of political progress.

“A return to border customs posts, border checkpoints is now real possibility and there is a major threat to the freedom of movement of people and goods between the North and South of Ireland. This is not acceptable and will be resisted.

“The European Union has a duty and an onus to protect and defend the interests of Ireland, the EU member state most at risk as a result of Brexit.

“The EU must grant special designated status to the North of Ireland. This would allow the island of Ireland to remain within the EU.

“The Irish Government bears a huge responsibility at this time to act in defence of our citizens rights and welfare and the interests of the island of Ireland as a whole.

"Undoubtedly the British governments moves today have hastened the process of delivering a United Ireland as more and more people will come to see, I believe, that unity is the best means of protecting Irish interests north and south.

“In the short term and in all Brexit negotiations, the Taoiseach and the Irish government must be guided by the Dáil motion passed in February calling  for the North to be granted special designated status within the EU.”

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