Ó Murchú says British Brexit brinkmanship is ‘pushing it to nth degree’
If the current brinkmanship by the British Government is a negotiating gambit ahead of finishing the exit talks, then Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and David Frost are ‘pushing it to the nth degree’, according to local TD Ruairí Ó Murchú.
The Sinn Féin deputy was reacting to the latest Brexit news and his comments come after the appearance of ambassadors from Portugal and Germany at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on EU Affairs, of which Mr Ó Murchú is a member.
He said: “The Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney spoke to the committee last week and expressed his view that Britain needs a deal as badly as anyone else and, to a degree, we need to concentrate on ensuring a deal that will protect Europe and Ireland, and gives Britain what it needs.
“That said, we must allow for a worst-case scenario. The Internal Market Bill is now in place and we must consider the possibility of other legislation and the circumventing of the Irish protocol. I welcome the fact that the ambassadors said that they will stand with Ireland.
“He said that ‘everyone is working on the basis that the Withdrawal Agreement and the Irish protocol are non-negotiable’ and he welcomed the response from the ambassadors, as well as the support from the United States recently from Richard Neal from the Ways and Means Committee and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.”
Mr Ó Murchú said: “While acknowledging the need for the Irish government and European negotiators to stay positive and to work as hard as possible for a deal, I have raised a number of times over the last number of weeks, with Minister Coveney and others, about what will happen in a worst case scenario.
“If the latest Brexit situation is a negotiating gambit for the British government, they are really pushing it to the nth degree and the Irish government and the EU need to stand firm on the protections for the island contained in the protocol.
“With the continuing difficulties about getting All-Ireland agreement on how to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with a British Government that doesn’t care about Ireland, North of South, shows that partition is a disaster and the only long term solution is a united Ireland.”