June 18, 2020
“All-island Economy must be protected at all costs” – MacManus

“All-island Economy must be protected at all costs” – MacManus

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has called for greater action from Fianna Fail and Fine Gael at both a European and domestic level as Brexit crash out fears heighten.

MEP MacManus was speaking as the European Parliament was voting to adopt a substantial and significant report on the Future Relationship between the EU and Britain.

“I’m delighted that my proposal on all-Ireland services and on an all-island labour market, including EU nationals, has been overwhelmingly adopted by the European Parliament in its report on the future relationship between the EU and Britain. The guarantees in the Withdrawal Agreement are crucial, but as Britain seems intent on crashing out of the EU without a deal, there is more to be done to protect the all-island economy.

“Like my predecessors as Sinn Fein MEPs, I have been pro-active in protecting the interests of Ireland while the government has been too often responding to events.

“I have repeatedly voiced my concerns that the Fine Gael caretaker government had dropped the ball regarding Brexit.  The incoming coalition’s Programme for Government have confirmed my suspicions that this government will be passive and complacent and have no real plan for the fallout ahead. There has been a worrying silence from FF, FG and the Greens about recent Brexit developments. There is lack of urgency and this inaction will have severe economic consequences across the island.

 

“Britain is our nearest neighbour and an important trading partner, but the reality is a Brexit crash out is very much on the cards. The British government is again showing little regard for Ireland – north or south. Their deliberate and damaging delay in implementing key parts of the Withdrawal Agreement is met with silence in government buildings. Their insistence on damaging and undermining neighbouring countries in the EU in order to promote the narrow interests of a small sector of British society is met with complacency.

“Irelands best interests are served by a comprehensive agreement on trade, including human rights, workers’ rights, social standards, environmental standards, fisheries, food quality and consumer protection. The refusal of the British government to seriously negotiate on these issues needs to be met with a firm and united response from all political parties in Ireland. Preparations must begin straight away to protect the most vulnerable sectors and regions in Ireland, and to put pressure on Britain to agree further steps to protect the all-island economy.” ENDS

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