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Snippet Contents:

That is progress, but there will be issues arising in regard to the rights of EU nationals who are not Irish citizens. While this will be a concern for some people, it is a step forward that at least on this issue there appears to be agreement. However, there is no agreement on the issues of the Good Friday Agreement and the Border. The Taoiseach knows that the Good Friday Agreement is incompatible with Brexit. The Good Friday Agreement is an international document. It is a complex document in many respects because it is underpinned by Irish law, British law and European Union law. If the North is taken out of the customs union and the Single Market against its will, and if the Good Friday Agreement is taken out of the European Union, in terms of the protections of the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, it would be a clear breach of the Good Friday Agreement. All of these are very important issues. One of the proposals put forward by Sinn Féin is that the Good Friday Agreement would remain within the European Union and that it would be attached as a protocol or an annex to the eventual withdrawal agreement to ensure it continues to enjoy the full protections and legal underpinnings of the European Union. This is the only way in which we can protect the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts. Is this also the stated position of the Irish Government?
There also has been no movement on the Border issue. I am concerned about the speech of the Prime Minister, Theresa May, in Florence, which was welcomed by the Irish Government and spoke of no physical border infrastructure. As the European Union has stated that it wants to protect the integrity of the customs union, the danger, if there is no physical border infrastructure, notwithstanding Fianna Fáil's reference to an electronic border, which is completely bonkers, is that responsibility for checks in terms of regulation and standards will be on businesses, farmers and so on, thus creating more bureaucracy and increased costs. The only way that we can square the circle of no Border of any kind, be it checks or inspections at business level or any physical infrastructure, and protection of the integrity of the customs union is for the island of Ireland, including the North, to remain in the customs union. While Britain remaining in the customs union would be the best outcome, if that is not possible and we can find common cause with people in Britain, will the Taoiseach support the North remaining in the customs union and the Single Market because if it is taken out of the customs union and the Single Market, notwithstanding all of the geniuses that might come up with all sorts of different solutions, the reality is that this will impact on the movement of goods and services, which will be bad for the economy.
Brexit is not good for Ireland. It is not what the people in the North voted for. It is not an Irish incarnation, it is a British one and we should not suffer the consequences. There can be no step backwards in terms of the Good Friday Agreement, no step backwards in terms of the Border and no step backwards in terms of citizens' rights. The best and only way to achieve this is to grant special status for the North within the European Union.
What is the current position of the British Government? We still have not had any tangible solutions from it. Has the Irish Government been given any documents beyond what is already in the public domain, because we are very concerned that nothing has been put on the table by the British Government up to now in terms of actual solutions.