Sinn Féin gives ‘cautious welcome’ to Brexit deal but cites dangers ahead

Britain contradicting itself over ‘hard economic border’, says Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams: ‘Our experience through years of agreements with Britain is that the devil is in the detail.’ Photograph:  Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams: ‘Our experience through years of agreements with Britain is that the devil is in the detail.’ Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

 

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has given a “cautious and qualified welcome” to this morning’s communiqué setting out the terms of an agreement between the EU and the British government.

However, he said: “The insistence by the British that Britain and the North must leave the customs union and the single market presents a real and live danger which cannot be understated.”

Speaking at Leinster House in Dublin, Mr Adams said: “Brexit is the greatest threat to the economies of this island in generations.

“Today’s communiqué does not set the final deal on Brexit. The communiqué sets out broad principles. These have been assessed by the Irish Government as sufficient progress to allow the Brexit process to move into the next phase of negotiations on trade.

“While the communiqué recognises the unique and special circumstances surrounding the issue of the Irish peace process, the Good Friday Agreement and the Border it does not address key areas of concern for many citizens, especially nationalists living in the north and citizens in the Border region.”

Theresa May’s insistence that the UK must leave the single market and customs union “contradicts the British prime ministers claim that there will not be a hard economic border,” Mr Adams continued.

“Today’s communiqué also throws no light on the future role of the European Court of Justice and in particular the right of EU citizens in that part of the island to be able to access the EU institutions.

“These are all genuine concerns particularly in light of the British prime ministers assertion today that the North will no longer be subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

“The Irish Government needs to be very conscious that the refusal to embrace rights is at the heart of the current difficulties in the political institutions and the collapse of the executive.

“While today’s communiqué represents some progress there are many unanswered questions around key issues and the Irish Government must remain focussed and vigilant. Sinn Féin is also very mindful that this Brexit process is a work in progress.

“Our experience through years of agreements with Britain is that the devil is in the detail.”