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Has the Irish Government even requested a Veto in the Brexit Guidelines? – Tóibín

3 April, 2017

Sinn Féin TD Peadar Tóibín has said that a veto in the Brexit negotiations akin to that secured by Spain in relation to Gibraltar would significantly strengthen Ireland’s position in the talks and help protect the interests of people north and south.

The Meath West TD said:

“The Brexit decision will affect so many aspects of Irish life; the movement of people, products, services, and capital between Ireland and Britain. It will massively affect the indigenous export sector most especially the Agri-food sector. It puts the Good Friday Agreement and the Peace Process in jeopardy. It moves the EU border onto the island of Ireland, leaving potentially a million Irish citizens and, therefore, EU citizens isolated on the wrong side of the border.

“The existence of this border on the island of Ireland would create a man-made economic and social periphery that will impact significantly on the socio-economic future of the border region which is already heavily deprived.

“The most frustrating thing about this process is that as it stands, we have little or no influence over what is happening on our island. The democratic will on both sides of the border counts for nothing and whatever decision does arise will depend on a qualified majority vote in the EU that can ignore the expressed democratic wishes of the people in the north which was to remain within the EU.

“However, there is now a precedent. The Spanish have been afforded within the Draft European Council Brexit Guidelines a veto over any future exit agreement concerning Gibraltar. This option logically has to be open to Ireland. The key question is has the Irish Government requested such a veto? If they have on, what basis is Ireland being treated differently to Spain? If not, why not? A veto in our back pocket, as opposed to the mere aims and wants currently detailed within the guidelines, would significantly strengthen our position.” 

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