Sinn Féin’s Leader in the Seanad Niall Ó Donnghaile has said the British government’s plan to restrict the movements of non-Irish and non-British citizens on the island of Ireland is ludicrous.
Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said:
“The British government is pushing forward with a requirement for citizens who are not Irish or British citizens to apply for travel clearance if they wish to travel from the south to the north of Ireland.
“When we committed to the withdrawal agreement, we did not say that there would be no hard border for some people but that there would be for others – we said that there would be no return to a hard border – sin é.
“The institutions of the Good Friday Agreement include the cross-border bodies. Tourism Ireland is one of these bodies. It works internationally to promote Ireland as one unit as a tourism destination. With the outworking of this legislation, we will see non-Irish and non-British citizens coming to the South and wishing to visit the North to see the iconic Giant’s Causeway, to visit Derry or to see Titanic Belfast having to apply for an electronic waiver.
“This proposal is quite frankly ludicrous and undermines the Good Friday Agreement and the Common Travel Area, as it creates significant restrictions on freedom of movement on our island.
“The Irish Government must do more than simply shrug their shoulders at this cynical and regressive vote at Westminster; I have added a motion to the Seanad Order Paper calling on the government to act in defence of the many citizens, workers, students, tourists, families and communities that this regressive and punitive legislation will impact upon.”