Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Brexit Stephen Donnelly TD has called on the Irish government to step up to the plate on Brexit in light of the weaker UK negotiating position following the General Election.
Deputy Donnelly said, “This changes the politics of Brexit in the UK, both for good and bad, from Ireland’s perspective. Prime Minister May’s call for a mandate to pursue a hard Brexit has clearly been rejected by the British voters. The growth in seats for Labour, who campaigned for a soft Brexit, and the Liberal Democrats, who campaigned for no Brexit, suggests that the approach from the UK should soften.
“However, the lack of political stability in the UK also increases the prospect of no deal being reached. Such a ‘cliff’ would be devastating for Ireland. On top of this, it is being reported that part of the DUP’s price for propping up the Tory’s includes a promise that Northern Ireland will not be afforded any post-Brexit special status. Nigel Dodds has said the DUP will insist no deal will be done that keeps Northern Ireland with one foot still in the EU. Such a position is catastrophic for the entire island of Ireland.
“Given the UK’s now weaker negotiating position, together with insistence’s from the DUP that would appear to damage Ireland North and South, the Irish Government’s task, in helping avoid any ‘cliff’, and broker a deal that keeps the UK as close to the EU as possible, is all the more important.
Reflecting on Sinn Féin’s long-standing position of not taking their seats in Westminster, Deputy Donnelly said,
“With the loss of all SDLP seats, the nationalist community in Northern Ireland now has no representation in the UK parliament. Couple that with the new influence the DUP will enjoy, and it’s hard to see how Sinn Féin’s actions do anything but harm the nationalist community.”