Louth Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach calls for full transparency in implementing services for Fair Deal residents
LOUTH Fianna Fáil TD Declan Breathnach has welcomed the Joint Report agreed on between Britain, Ireland, and the EU over the north's border.
The spokesperson on North-South Bodies and Cross Border Co-Operation has said that he broadly welcomes the agreement reached by the negotiators of the Commission and the UK Government.
“Having read the Agreement, and while I welcome the progress made in the negotiations, it is clearly stated that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed," said Mr Breathnach.
“As everyone has been saying, the devil will be in the detail. While it has been agreed that there will be no hard border, and Taoiseach Varadkar has said that this is set in stone, we still do not know how this will operate.
"The Common Travel Area is protected, but again, will there be checks in the future to establish Country of Origin for example?
“I welcome the guaranteed protection of residence rights for EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU.”
He added: “This agreement offers the best possible protection of the Good Friday Agreement in maintaining the status quo and recognises the unique circumstances on the island of Ireland.
"I am a little concerned however about the future of the PEACE and INTERREG funding programmes post 2020 as the agreement states “possibilities for future support will be examined favourably.”
Mr Breathnach continued: “I am happy that the Phase 2 process can now commence. This is where the most difficult issues of trade and future relationships will be tackled and it is important that as a country we maintain a close and coherent focus on what it is we want from this process.
“I am hopeful that the last week will prompt the parties in Northern Ireland to move quickly towards reaching an agreement that will facilitate the re-establishment of the Northern Ireland Executive.
"Now more than ever the North of Ireland needs its own independent voice to protect their unique interests in the Brexit negotiations."