Gerry Adams strongly criticises Theresa May and the DUP for their handling of Brexit
Strong words from the Sinn Féin leader.
Earlier this afternoon, Theresa May confirmed that maintaining the common travel area between Northern Ireland and the Republic will be “an important part of the talks” during the upcoming Brexit negotiations.
The British Prime Minister stated that "we will deliver a practical solution that allows the maintenance of the common travel area with the Republic of Ireland", however she failed to provide further details, or mention how this will work without the customs union.
May did state that "nobody wants to return to the borders of the past", but like so many of the issues regarding Brexit, there are some extremely important questions that remain unanswered, especially in relation to Northern Ireland.
Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has described the British Prime Minister’s statement on Brexit as evidence that the British state is “set on course for a so-called Hard Brexit”.
He said: “The decision to leave the single market and the customs union sets Britain on course for a hard Brexit. The economic and political implications of this for the people of this island are significant. The British Prime Minister provided no new information about Britain’s approach to the North in respect of Brexit; no willingness to look at a special designated status for the North within the EU; no real role for the devolved governments in the negotiations; and old rhetoric on the future of the Common Travel Area".
Adams goes on to condemn May's refusal to provide a more detailed plan regarding the reintroduction of a potential hard border between the North and the Republic.
“Her remarks on the future of the Common Travel Area contained no new detail. As she has said before, Ms. May set the future of the border and any arrangements with the island of Ireland in the context of Britain’s determination to control immigration and defend its borders. It is difficult to see how this can be accomplished without significant changes to the current border arrangements", he said.
Adams adds: “The British Prime Minister also said that the electorate voted with their eyes open to leave the European Union. She ignores the fact that voters in the North did not. They voted to remain. The British Prime Minister also repeated her intention to bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court. Along with her commitment to remove Britain from the European Convention on Human Rights this will have profound implications for the Good Friday Agreement. The role of the European Court and Convention are fundamental to the human rights elements of the Good Friday Agreement."
Regarding the DUP and the former First Minster Arlene Foster, the Sinn Féin leader has accused them of betraying the electorate in the North on Brexit.
He said: “The imposition of Brexit, against the will of the people, will impact on our economy and on our community. It was the duty of the First Minister to uphold the wishes of the people of the North to remain within the EU. She and her party set their faces against this. The DUP’s refusal to accept the Brexit vote is a betrayal of the electorate. Instead of accepting that mandate she chose to join with the little Englanders of UKIP and the Conservative Party", he states.
Adams concludes: “Sinn Féin believes that the only realistic solution to this issue is for the North to have a special designated status within the EU. We will continue to engage with the Irish government and with others in the EU on this issue."