Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD has said that while there will be relief that a trade deal has been agreed between Britain and the EU and that the Irish Protocol is in place, we should be under no illusions there is no good Brexit for Ireland, north or south. She has said that now is the time to start planning for the future post-Brexit.
Teachta McDonald said:
“Four and a half years ago the north of Ireland voted to remain, but despite the wishes of the people it now finds itself outside of the European Union as a result of a Tory inspired Brexit.
“There will be relief that a trade deal has now been agreed between Britain and the EU and special arrangements for Ireland, encapsulated in the Irish Protocol, will be implemented.
“The Good Friday Agreement has been protected, there will be no hardening of the border and protections for the all-island economy are in place. There is also a level of certainty for businesses.
“But we are under no illusions that there is no good Brexit for Ireland, north or south, and the full consequences of this are as yet unknown.
“We need to look at the detail in this document and test it against what had been set out in principle in the wider agreement, the Irish Protocol and also against the Good Friday Agreement.
“In the immediate term, we need to ensure that there is full support for those sectors that will struggle despite today’s deal and we need to look at how the north’s voice can be heard at EU level in the coming years. There are many ways that this could be facilitated and we have discussed some of these options with the Irish government.
“This is not the end of the road.
“EU leaders have accepted the unique position of Ireland and have agreed that the north will automatically become part of the EU in the context of a United Ireland.
“So we need to start the planning and we need to start talking about a future beyond Brexit.”