Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has said that the ongoing chaos in Westminster requires an all-Ireland contingency plan to be put in place in order to protect our economy and the Good Friday Agreement. He said that it was telling that an overwhelming majority of British MPs last night voted against the expressed wishes of the vast majority of the people from the north.
“Sinn Féin have played a constructive role in helping shape the withdrawal agreement that includes the pivotal backstop. There can be no dilution of that provision, it represents the least worst option for our country.
“It was positive to hear EU leaders reaffirming their commitment to the Good Friday Agreement and the backstop in the European Parliament debate on Brexit this morning. The Irish government must remain resolute on this point. In contrast to the European Parliament, it was telling that last night the vast majority of British MPs voted against the expressed wishes of the people in the north of Ireland.
“That Westminster vote now makes a no-deal scenario a live prospect. That requires an adequate contingency strategy to be put in place immediately. This strategy must be an all-Ireland one and it must include the option of a poll on Irish Unity. Irish political leaders who dismiss or ignore this option are being as reckless as those Brexiteers who refused to consider the implications for the north of Ireland in their own manoeuvrings.
“Contingency planning must also include provision for emergency EU funding for vulnerable sectors and regions. Sinn Féin have argued, since the Brexit referendum result, for the establishment of such a fund and have called on the Irish government and EU commission to facilitate this. While the government has belatedly began speaking of such a fund there has yet to be a formal proposition to the EU. This needs to happen immediately”