Sufficient Progress Must Mean No Border and Full Protection of Good Friday Agreement - David Cullinane TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson for Brexit David Cullinane TD has said today that a worrying tone has entered the government's language on Brexit and the North and that now is not the time to row back on vital commitments.
Speaking on the meeting between Donald Tusk and the Taoiseach, Deputy Cullinane said:
"Although the government keeps on saying that it wants to protect the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts and avoid a hard border, It appears that it has accepted that the North will be leaving the customs union and single market.
"All of the talk now is on how to mitigate the impact of the border that will be put in place."This is why Minister Coveney has spent so much time on the issue of regulations and standards.
"If the North was to stay in the customs union there would be no need for such discussion so it is clear that Coveney has already conceded that point.
"In that regard 'sufficient progress' would mean 'sufficient progress' in mitigating the impact of the border rather than avoiding it completely.This will have implications for the Good Friday Agreement.
"I call on Minister Coveney to clarify what what constitutes 'sufficient progress'.
"Is it sufficient progress on the North staying in the customs union, single market and the EU legal framework?
"Or is it sufficient progress on the shared rules north and south that will serve to mitigate the effects of the border that is coming down the line"The border is a bigger issue than standards and regulations.
"What is now required is a legal commitment that there will be no Brexit border imposed on Ireland and that the north stays within the customs union and single market, and that the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts remains within the EU legal framework.
"The way is to achieve this is for the North to be Designated Special Status with European Union.
“The government needs to stand in our national interests and for the rights of Irish citizens. It cannot bend to the pressure of the British government and the DUP."