24 Sept 2022

Dundalk TD says there cannot be a return to a hard border

Dundalk TD says there cannot be a return to a hard border

Dundalk TD Ruairí Ó Murchú

A Dundalk TD has said that “creative solutions” can be found to trade issues using the Northern Ireland protocol, but that there cannot be a return to a hard border.

Sinn Féin’s Ruairí Ó Murchú criticized the British government for threatening to trigger Article 16 of the Northern Ireland protocol, and said that they cannot keep seeking to renegotiate the agreement.

According to Deputy Ó Murchú, the British Government had “signed, sealed and delivered” Brexit and now cannot seek to “look at anything that will put a border on the island of Ireland”.

“One of the stranger things that Boris Johnson’s negotiator, David Frost, says is that it’s a bad thing that there is increased cross border trade between North and South in Ireland,” said Deputy Ó Murchú.

“There are means of dealing with outstanding issues created by Brexit and there is a ten week grace period from now to make life easier from the point of view of trade between Britain and the North.”

“The Irish Protocol is here to stay – the EU Commission, the Irish government and everyone else is behind it. It is hard to know whether this pontificating from the British prime minister is an overplay in order to get some minor mitigation or playing to the home crowd.

“What he is doing is with the ‘Command Paper’ is adding succour to some elements of political unionism which thinks the Irish Protocol can be renegotiated. It can’t.

“People just want solutions so they can operate. We have to put the problems on the table and find mitigations and solutions to those problems.”

Deputy Ó Murchu called on the British Government to cool the narrative and that it is not viable for Ireland to negotiate a separate deal with the UK.

“There is too much politicking going on and it doesn’t serve any purpose,” said Deputy Ó Murchú.

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