As deadline passes new government must prepare for hardest possible Brexit – Chris MacManus MEP
Speaking today, on the deadline for a Brexit extension, Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has again warned of the stark implications a hard Brexit will have for the island of Ireland.
“The decision of the British government not to extend the transition period beyond the end of the year is the clearest indication yet that they are going for the hardest possible Brexit. They have decided that they’re not interested in a close cooperation with their nearest neighbours in the EU.”
“This has serious implications for Ireland, which the new government seems to be oblivious to. The government should stop hoping that it will all work out and immediately put in place plans for the sectors and regions most affected.”
The Sligo based MEP has urged the new government to act with urgency in the coming weeks. “Plans are needed to support Irish agriculture in finding new markets for the quality food products that will be crowded out of the British market by inferior imports from around the world. The additional costs of Brexit can’t be passed on to consumers, so plans are needed to support Irish retailers in seeking non-tariff sources of goods in the EU, as well as bypassing Britain to source goods from around the world that will be hindered by British trade barriers.”
“The government needs to vigorously assert the historic rights of Irish fisheries access to British waters. The development of new all-Ireland areas of cooperation under the Good Friday Agreement needs to be prioritised. New areas need to include services and labour market issues, including workers’ rights and the free movement of all people on the island of Ireland – not just British and Irish.” MacManus concluded, “Responding to the British plans will require the involvement of all government departments. There’s no time for a honeymoon period. Action is needed now.” ENDS