Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence John Brady TD has highlighted the importance of the Dáil offering a cohesive, coherent and inclusive response to the challenges of Brexit, and the need for all-party and all-island preparations for constitutional change.
Speaking today during the Dáil debate on the Brexit Omnibus Bill, Teachta Brady said: “I have many dealings with the diplomatic community resident here in Ireland and, as you would imagine, Brexit is a topic that is frequently tabled during our discussions.
“What is striking though is the impact and impression that is left upon the international community by the commitment, coherence and the unity of purpose that infuses the approach in Ireland towards Brexit.
“The Brexit Omnibus Bill moves to prepare the relevant sections of the Irish economy for Brexit, within the parameters set down in the Withdrawal Agreement drawn up between the EU and Britain.
“It is a vital and critical response to the changes that will come into force on January 1st.
“In this, the strangest and most dramatic of years around the globe, we in Ireland have been forced to confront two major challenges – the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit.
“The experience of the pandemic is ongoing and is well documented. The impact of Brexit is yet to be fully felt, but we are very aware of the challenges that it will introduce into our lives.
“What both challenges have in common is they have proven themselves to be a challenge to the island of Ireland.
“Their impact questions the validity and common sense of the maintenance of two jurisdictions on our small island.
“Arguably, our response to Covid-19 has been impeded by a dual, and often conflicting, response between the north and south of Ireland.
“If there is one clear message that arises from the experience of Brexit and Covid, it is that we must begin the process of planning for constitutional change on this island.
“We must ensure that the process of planning is all-inclusive, that it provides for input for all shades of opinion and outlook on the island and that it is an all-island approach.
“Nothing could be clearer – the future of the shared experience of the peoples of this island lies in the reunification of Ireland.”