West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Mc Aleer says vigilance required on Brexit, not backslapping and spin

Published: 12 December, 2017

Sinn Féin MLA Declan Mc Aleer says that the heavy lifting on the Brexit negotiations is still to come, and that it is too early to celebrate a win while the ball is still in play.

The West Tyrone MLA said:

"Following Friday's announcement people should not get into a false sense of security that the Brexit issue is now sorted. It is important to remember that at this point we have no deal.

"Friday's report is simply where the negotiations stand at the moment. It is not a 'cast-iron guarantee' as stated by the Taoiseach but simply a set of measures that both sides have agreed to at this stage in the talks in order to move the process forward.

"Given the conflicting messages and interpretations emanating from within the Tory party and the DUP about what been actually agreed, it is crucial that we that all opposed to Brexit and it's potentially disastrous consequences particularly for border constituencies like our remain vigilant.

"The focus is now on the parallel talks relating to Ireland that will take place in the second stage.

"The bare minimum as outlined in the 'back-stop' arrangement is not enough.

"The parallel talks on Ireland in the next round need to ensure that the north stays in the customs union, single market, and EU legal framework.

"If this happens alongside Britain doing the same, all well and good, but those talks must ensure that regardless of the outcome for Britain, the north is protected from Brexit.

"Now is not the time to be celebrating while we haven't even gotten to stage two of the talks.

"While Friday's report indicates progress, it is not by any stretch of the imagination the full protection needed for the island of Ireland after Brexit."