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Adams welcomes Taoiseach’s comments on border and Brexit

4 August, 2017 - by Gerry Adams

A Sinn Féin delegation, including party leader Gerry Adams TD, Conor Murphy MLA and Carál Ní Chuilín MLA today met the An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD.

Speaking after the meeting Gerry Adams said:

“We had a productive meeting with the Taoiseach.

“I welcomed his decision to participate in the Gay Pride event tomorrow. This is an important act of solidarity with the LGBT community.

“It also underlines the imperative of LGBT citizens in the North having access to the same rights, including marriage equality, that all other citizens enjoy in every other part of these islands.

“I reiterated to Mr Varadkar Sinn Féin’s commitment to the re-establishment of the political institutions.

“But I made it clear that they must be on a sustainable basis.

“The Irish and British governments have a key role to play in this.

Many of the rights issues that remain outstanding from the Good Friday and subsequent agreements are their responsibility.

“That means in the next round of talks there must be progress on Irish language rights, marriage equality, the Bill of Rights, legacy matters and anti-sectarian measures.

“We also spoke about Brexit.

“I welcomed An Taoiseach’s recent comments and those of Minister Coveney on the need for the border between the EU and non-EU British state not to be on the island of Ireland.

“The report this week by the Oireachtas Good Friday Agreement Committee which called for the Irish government to negotiate for the North to be designated a special status within the EU, is in line with the vote by the Oireachtas in support of this position and of the majority of MLAs elected to the Assembly in March.

“I told Mr Varadkar that in Sinn Féin’s view designated special status for the North within the EU is the most effective way to defend the Good Friday Agreement, and to ensure that the two economies on the island of Ireland are protected during Brexit.”

In answer to a question on Brexit Gerry Adams said:

“The majority of people here, and let it be said loud and clear, the majority of people here voted against Brexit. So that has to be at the cornerstone of any way of preventing the English Tory party having their way on these matters… what this all boils down to is whether unionism is clinging to the remnants of the old order or whether it’s prepared to accept that this state has changed utterly. I know it’s still in transition and so on but it has to be a state in which the rights and opinions aspirations of all citizens are both reflected and promoted and actively defended.

“Our solution for Brexit, and it’s an Irish solution to an English 

problem, is for Special Designated Status for the north within the EU. I’ve said previously that the DUP are very disrespectful about the vote in the north.”

The Sinn Féin leader was asked about the likely response of the British government.

He said: “I can’t second guess Theresa May. I am sure that Theresa May couldn’t even second guess Theresa May on these issues. They have no plan, they have no sense. They were oblivious to the people of Ireland north and south when they took this reckless decisions and they probably got a result that they didn’t anticipate and didn’t predict but you know British government are wonderful at reversing when they need to reverse but I’m not going to second guess that.”

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