Sinn Féin spokesperson on Justice Martin Kenny has called on Taoiseach Micheál Martin to oppose the Britsh government’s Nationality and Borders Bill in the strongest of terms.
The bill, currently being debated at Westminster, would require EU and EEA citizens travelling to the North to pre-register with authorities before they travel.
Teachta Kenny said:
“Here we have another consequence of Brexit, which will have a hugely detrimental effect on the freedom of movement of people across the border.
“It is simply not good enough that the Tánaiste’s response to this bill was that it ‘does not come as a huge surprise.
“If that is indeed the case, I would challenge the Tánaiste to offer some genuine objection to the bill that he was surely preparing for, instead of just offering up a glib sound bite for social media.
“Communities across Ireland have people from a variety of EU countries living, working and contributing to their localities.
“As part of the Good Friday Agreement, many of these people and their families have enjoyed free movement across all 32 counties of Ireland during their time here.
“If this bill is passed by the House of Commons, it will also have a potentially destructive effect on EU and EEA citizens living in border regions who may work in the next town over, which happens to be in the North.
“The Taoiseach was in government and indeed served as a minister during the early years of the Good Friday Agreement.
“He must surely understand the difficulties that are potentially facing people if the freedom to move is removed by a Brexit bill being rushed through the Commons by Boris and his Tory government.
“As far as I am concerned, this is just a reintroduction of a border by stealth, and it must be opposed by the Taoiseach and his government in the strongest of terms.”