August 13, 2021
British brinkmanship over protocol must end. Businesses need solutions – Kearney

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA has said reckless British brinkmanship and prevarication over the Protocol must end, and that the focus must shift to find solutions which support local businesses, farmers and manufacturers

Writing in his latest blog on An Phoblacht, the Party’s Brexit spokesperson said

“The British government Command Paper in July formalised its objective to seek a renegotiation of the Irish Protocol element of the Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union (EU)

“Whilst it stopped short of invoking Article 16, that option has not been removed from the table.

“This is the latest phase of British brinkmanship. It is deeply corrosive for geopolitical relations and Britain’s reputation.

“A time frame exists between now and late September to constructively resolve real and outstanding difficulties caused to the flow of trade by Brexit on an East/West basis. But political will is required to do so.

“The immediate focus of this British Government needs to shift towards finding resolutions for genuine concerns of local businesses, rather than disingenuously using these to promote a self-serving, Tory ideological agenda

“The prevarication must end. Local businesses, traders, manufacturers, and farmers need real stability and certainty. Agreement between Britain and the EU on a SPS deal would make an immediate difference.”

The Minister in the Executive Office added that the Protocol gives a special economic status to the north, and that rights of representation for the region within the EU should also now be considered:

“Sinn Féin will continue to promote the priorities of our local businesses and the island economy.

“We will continue to ensure that the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement remains paramount. It is not only our international peace agreement, but also provides the framework for managing the relationship between the north of Ireland with the EU itself.

“The Protocol protects the GFA and confers a special economic status on the north. It provides the north with an opportunity to attract new investment and employment opportunities and allows for a unique dual market trade access to the British and EU markets. It must be protected.

“The logic of representation for the north in EU institutions by virtue of special arrangements merits careful consideration. Precedents already exist. Such an option would guarantee that the actual needs of businesses, workers and their families in this region are properly understood by the EU, and not made hostage to the Tory inspired partisan, ideological and tactical agenda in Whitehall.” 

Read Declan Kearney’s full blog here:

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