February 16, 2021
John Brady TD welcomes EU Commission admission of error over Article 16

Sinn Féin spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD today welcomed the admission by Vice-President for Inter-Institutional Relations Maros Sefcovic that the EU Commission was wrong to attempt to invoke the Article 16 Protocol.

Speaking today at a meeting of the Joint Committee on EU Affairs, Wicklow TD Brady said:

“I believe that the appearance of Vice-President Sefcovic before the committee today is representative of the commitment of the EU to the Irish Protocol, and the protection of the Good Friday Agreement.

“There is a definitive need to ensure that such mistakes do not occur again. I welcome the EU commitment to continue to find solutions to the current difficulties surrounding the Irish Protocol.

“The EU must introduce measures that allow for consultation with their Irish counterparts in order to ensure that such instances do not arise in the future.

“It is important that the EU works to counter the activities of those forces in the north who opposed the Good Friday Agreement, and who have now seized upon the current situation in order to heighten tensions.

“In reply to my assertion of the need for the EU to do their utmost to de-escalate the situation, Vice-President Sefcovic strongly advised that the EU was doing its utmost to do so.

“The decision to meet with northern business leaders and civic society representatives later this week is a welcome development.

“There is no doubt that within the next couple of years that we will witness a successful referendum on a United Ireland.

“When this occurs, the north will once again become part of the EU, within the framework of a United Ireland.

“It is important for the EU to be prepared. The EU must work to keep the north as close as possible in the interim in regulatory terms.

“I believe we should see the appointment of observer MEPs, that MLAs be allowed access to the Committee of the Regions; that representatives of civil and social society be allowed be allowed access to the Economic and Social Committee; that Executive Ministers be allowed to participate in Council of Ministers meetings as part of the Irish delegation; that the EU should create an office for representatives from the Northern Assembly in Brussels.”

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