Theresa May ‘picking a fight’ with Ireland and the EU – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Leader Mary McDonald TD said today that British Prime Minister Theresa May had visited the north to pick a fight with Ireland and the European Union.

Teachta McDonald said:

“We were told that the British Minister came to Ireland to listen and to reassure. It is clear that she is not listening to community and business interests and seeks only to reassure the DUP.

“Her approach today has been provocative, to set aside her agreement with the EU from December and to walk away from a backstop.

“Theresa May claims to want to avoid a hard border in Ireland, while pursuing a policy that will deliver a hard border.

“She told us that the north must be treated the same as Britain in Brexit, while continuing to deny the right to marriage equality, to coroner’s inquests and language rights – rights that are available elsewhere in Ireland and in Britain.

“The British Prime Minister has demonstrated a willful misreading of the Good Friday Agreement. She spoke of respecting consent while imposing Brexit in the north against the will of the majority.

“She told us that an agreement cannot be imposed, while refusing to implement agreements that have been made.

“Right across society; business, farming and community interests north and south are dismayed at Theresa May’s hard Brexiteer rhetoric, designed for a Brexiteers at home in Britain and within the DUP.

“Theresa May is not acting in the interest of the people here or our economy – she is acting in self interest.

“She might not be listening but civic society and business interests, our farmers need to make their voices heard in Dublin and Brussels.

“There is an onus on the Irish government to stand up in the interests of all Ireland and Europe needs to make good its commitment that Ireland comes first.

“The backstop is the contingency plan. It was agreed and should be honoured.

“What is required now is that the issues pertaining to Ireland be solved at an EU level. We need clarity and certainty for our people and the economy.

“That requires immediate talks and very clearly unless the Irish issues are resolved there can be no withdrawal agreement and no talks on future relationships.”

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