Brexit protections must be legally guaranteed – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Speaking as Tanaiste Simon Coveney and EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier meet in Brussels, Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has called for “the substance of the Brexit agreement reached in December, between the European Union and the British Government, to be a guaranteed within the EU legal text to published this week”.

Speaking from Dublin this morning, Teachta McDonald said:

“We recognised  that the Joint Report agreed in December laid out some progress in terms of broad principles but we were concerned that it was littered with alarming contradictions which fundamentally undermined it.

‘We remain concerned that that the agreement, despite An Taoiseach’s talk of ‘cast iron’ guarantees, was in no way legally binding.

“In December, we warned both the Irish government and the EU negotiating team that the lack of legal enforceability would prove to be dangerous in terms of protecting Irish interests both north and south.

“It is now critical that the protections for Ireland, agreed in December, are now translated into legally binding provisions.

‘This must mean no Brexit Border on the island of Ireland, that the Good Friday agreement is protected in all its parts and that there will be no loss of rights for citizens.

“Such a binding agreement will establish clear legal obligations in terms of Ireland in the Brexit negotiations.

“Loose gentleman’s agreements and kicking the can down the road will not cut the mustard here.

“The people of this island deserve and should be afforded legally guaranteed protections. It is the responsibility of the Irish government to secure those protections.”

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