Brexit is not the end of the road - Hazzard
Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said the end of the Brexit transition period is not the end of the road, but the beginning of planning for a brighter future post-Brexit.
The South Down MP said:
"In the 2016 Brexit referendum, the north of Ireland voted to reject Brexit and remain in Europe.
“However, despite the democratic decision of the people, tonight at 11pm we will be dragged out of the EU at the whim of the English Tory party.
“During the four and half years since the referendum, Sinn Féin have worked tirelessly to ensure the Good Friday Agreement was prioritised; that there was no hardening of the border; and our all-Ireland economy was protected.
“In working constructively with other pro-remain parties, European and American leaders, we have ensured that there have been special arrangements agreed for Ireland, encapsulated in the Irish Protocol.
“This is the logic of Brexit; prioritising the pyrrhic victory of sovereign principles as opposed to the economic and social benefits of EU membership.
“When all the bluster dies down in the new year it will become depressingly clear that this trade deal is not the end of the Brexit journey; rather it is the beginning of a new trading relationship built on permanent negotiation, disputes and recriminations.
“In the time ahead we all have an existential choice to make once again.
“Do we want to be bound by this Brexit Britain forever narrowing our vision of the future; or do we want to take a different path, the road back to Europe where we belong?
"EU leaders have already accepted the unique position of Ireland, and have agreed that the north will automatically become part of the EU in the context of a reunified Ireland.
"This then is the road we must set our course for tomorrow.”