Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada met this morning with the new President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani.
The Ireland South MEP had called for the meeting with the new EP President to discuss a number of issues including Brexit, the effect it will have on the Irish economy and the need to protect the democratically expressed will of people in the north.
“The meeting this morning concentrated on Brexit and I informed Mr Tajani of the disastrous effect it will have on the Irish economy, north and south,” she said.
“For example, the Hospitality sector is already haemorrhaging €500 million and the Agricultural industry is losing over €150 million and all of this before Article 50 has even triggered. Both of these sectors offer much needed employment and we can ill afford to be losing these valuable jobs.
“The British PM Theresa May has absolutely no regard for people in the north of Ireland and the particularly disastrous effect a hard Brexit will have on them. She is happy to claim that joint authority in the north would be regarded as a constitutional change and would require the consent of the people but at the same time is taking the north out of the EU against the expressed will of the people there.
“Theresa May seems content to not only sacrifice the economy in the north at the Brexit altar but also to allow the Good Friday Agreement to be collateral damage in this disastrous scheme.
“I reminded Mr Tajani of the integral role that the EU plays in the Good Friday Agreement and urged him to use any influence he has in conferring a Special Designated Status on the six counties.
“I asked him in his dealings with the Irish Government to argue for that position and to remind Enda Kenny of the Irish Government’s special position as Co Guarantors of the GFA and to encourage them to adopt this position.
“I am glad to say that Mr Tajani took on board all my concerns and has agreed to call a meeting of all of the Irish MEPS to discuss our red line issues on these matters.”