April 26, 2021
“EU Vote on Direct Dialogue with Northern Assembly is welcome” – Chris MacManus MEP

“EU Vote on Direct Dialogue with Northern Assembly is welcome” – Chris MacManus MEP

Sinn Féin ensure EU commitment to direct engagement with Northern politicians

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus has described his party’s progress on developing a Six County / EU channel of dialogue as “pleasing” and “vitally important” to the north’s evolution post-Brexit. Speaking from Brussels the Midlands Northwest MEP said, “I would like to welcome the draft resolution on Brexit which will be voted in the European Parliament this week.”

“It is important at this time for the Parliament to agree this new trade relationship and to demonstrate its strong commitment to the full and faithful implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement, including the Irish Protocol which Sinn Féin and The Left Group in the European Parliament played a central role in shaping.”

MacManus believes the draft resolution is proof that a strong Belfast/Brussels relationship is now developing, “The Protocol is evidence that the EU have listened to the voice of people in the north of Ireland and have made great concessions in order to protect the peace process and uphold the Good Friday Agreement.”

“We have argued over the years that the voice of people in the north needs to continue to be heard in the implementation of the protocol and in the wider peace and political process.”

“Therefore, I am particularly pleased that the resolution incorporates our proposal for dialogue with political representatives and stakeholders in the North. This doesn’t fully address the democratic deficit, but it is an important gesture of openness on the side of the European Parliament.”

The Sinn Féin MEP said the responsibility will now shift to Dublin to implement the next important steps in enabling citizens in the north to have a voice in Europe. “The Dublin government can properly address the democratic deficit by using the north south institutions to give the Assembly and the Executive a say on EU policy, and by fully respecting the citizenship provisions of the Good Friday Agreement to ensure northern representation in the European Parliament.”

MacManus concluded by pledging his party’s support to the full realisation of a meaningful relationship between Brussels and Belfast. “We in Sinn Féin will remain central in advancing these discussions. We believe that following the adoption of this resolution the European Parliament should take the initiative by reaching out to the parties in the Assembly in order to establish an enduring and meaningful political dialogue.” ENDS

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