Carthy attends All-Ireland Civil Dialogue on Brexit
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, was part of the Sinn Féin leadership delegation that participated in the All-Ireland Civic Dialogue on Brexit at Dublin Castle last Friday, which included party leaders Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill.
After the event, Carthy said: “The clock is ticking. We’re just over a month away from the Brexit deadline, and British Prime Minister Theresa May has thrown out the agreement she herself negotiated, and is counting down the clock, demanding a renegotiation in order to appease the DUP and hardline Brexiteers.
“Ireland did not vote for Brexit. We do not consent to a hard border. We believe that the ‘backstop’ contained within the Withdrawal Agreement is a vital insurance policy to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland and must be upheld. It is the absolute bare minimum that is required. So we need the Irish government and the EU to firmly rule out any possibility of diluting this insurance policy.
“I have serious concerns about the Irish government’s lack of preparedness for Brexit. Sinn Féin has called for a €2 billion EU Brexit stabilisation fund for Ireland, that should provide supports to the sectors made most vulnerable by Brexit, in addition to existing EU supports for agriculture and exporters.
“We need supports in place for SMEs in vulnerable sectors; targeted capital investment in our ports, roads, rail and airports; supports for public services and workers’ rights; and protections for the rights of people in the north and the Good Friday Agreement.
“The British government position 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, most importantly, 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.
“The demand for Irish unity is growing. Brexit is clearly causing people to question the constitutional future of the North and encouraging support for an all-island economic, political and social framework. We will not accept a hard border.
“The British and Irish governments need to acknowledge reality and agree to hold a border poll so the people can have their say”. ENDS