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6 September 2019

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McDonald warns Taoiseach: “Custom checks on our Island are unacceptable”

“Any customs check on our island are completely unacceptable and amount to political vandalism of the Good Friday Agreement.” – Mary Lou McDonald TD

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald has said any hardening of the border, or custom checks on the island of Ireland are completely unacceptable, and Taoiseach Varadkar must ensure that all options, including support for the Good Friday Agreement provision for a referendum on Irish reunification are on the table.

Taoiseach Varadkar addressed the British-Irish Chamber of Commerce last night and warned checks on goods entering the Republic of Ireland are likely to be required “near the Border” in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

The Fine Gael leader confirmed that the government is in discussions with the European Commission over cross-border checks that will be required in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Sinn Féin have been adamant that any imposition of custom checks is completely unacceptable.

The party finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty this week described such checks as “political vandalism” which grossly undermines the Good Friday Agreement. The Donegal TD then went on to insist his party will not allow custom checks to be forced upon Irish citizens because of the intransigence of right-wing Brexiteers within the Tory party supported by the DUP.

Political commentators and industry experts have warned that any barriers to trade and free movement on the island will damage border communities, harm the economy and undermine the architecture of the peace process.

The irony now, is that it is an Irish government talking about implementing a hard border on the island of Ireland.

This is completely unacceptable according Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald, who told An Phoblacht that these are fundamental issues that will have a massive impact for generations to come and it is the job of An Taoiseach and our European Partners to prevent this disastrous scenario from emerging.

“That means insisting on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and Backstop as the minimum to protect our interests and prevent a hard border” she said.

“If the Tories and the DUP continue to resist that pragmatic solution then the Taoiseach should move to supporting the Good Friday Agreement provision for a unity referendum to be held.”

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