Brexit, the Good Friday Agreement and designated special status – McDonald

Speaking at a Brexit Business Breakfast event in Belfast this morning Sinn Féin Deputy Leader Mary Lou McDonald told attendees that the Good Friday Agreement must be attached as a Protocol to any withdrawal agreement between the EU and Britain and that the north must remain within the Customs Union and the Single Market.  

The Dublin Central TD said:

“Britain’s referendum on exiting the European Union was born of deeply cynical and self-interested politics, and the absence of a cohesive Tory negotiation strategy post Brexit tells its own story.

“Both the British and Irish governments are co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, an agreement that must be protected in all its parts. The GFA must be incorporated as a Protocol to any withdrawal agreement between Britain and the EU. This will not only protect the human rights provisions of the agreement for citizens, it would ensure that all Assembly legislation is in line with EU laws and regulations.

“The people of the North voted against Brexit and must not be dragged out of the EU against their democratic will. The Irish government has a particular responsibility to defend that vote and to act in the best interests of all people on this island.

“Designated special status for the north to remain in the EU will ensure that Ireland is treated as one single entity in the EU. It must also mean no land border and that the north remains in the Customs Union and the Single Market, even in the event that the Tories are unable to secure such an agreement for Britain.

“Brexit and a united Ireland are now fundamentally intertwined. Those who argue an opposing view have their heads in the sand. The die has been cast and none of us have the right to shirk the challenging debates ahead. Brexit has reenergised and reshaped the debate and we have a real opportunity now to deliver unity, prosperity and fair play for all on this island.” CRIOCH