Patsy McGlone MLA for Mid Ulster

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Assembly Questions

Patsy McGlone 8th December 2017

McGlone Welcomes Guarantee of No Hard Border

SDLP MLA Patsy McGlone has welcomed a breakthrough in the Brexit negotiations and the guarantee of no hard border on the island of Ireland.

The Mid Ulster MLA said, “The SDLP will study this agreed text in detail over the course of today and we would obviously add the caution that the Brexit negotiation still has a long way to run.

“We welcome the guarantee that there can be no hard border in Ireland - a guarantee which will mean and can only mean continuing alignment with the European single market and customs union. We fully acknowledge the work of the Irish Government and our diplomats in achieving this guarantee. Last week SDLP delegates met with both diplomats and politicians at the Dáil to discuss the the Brexit talks.

“People, communities and businesses in this constituency will be better served by continuing open trade and free movement across this island and between these islands.

“It appears the DUP tantrum has achieved small changes in emphasis and language in terms of the constitutional status. If emphasis and language is the price of progress for avoiding a new border in Ireland – then so be it.

“Those of us interested in preventing a hard border in Ireland and protecting our businesses and our people will focus on the substance.

“More broadly, the prospect in the text that Britain itself may continue its alignment with European markets is to be welcomed and developed. Across the island of Ireland, nationalism has been clear that we do not want borders or barriers on these islands, whether they are North/South or East/West.

“If the Brexiteers are finally waking up to the reality that imposing borders and barriers on trade and movement will cause economic and political harm to all our people – then it may represent a crucial turning point in the Brexit negotiations.

“Any solution could obviously work far better if we have a functioning Executive and Assembly. That must now be the question posed to every political party in Northern Ireland. Surely this is the basis to resume talks to restore Stormont.