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Snippet Contents:

Rock solid, iron-clad guarantees that resolve the contradictions were required to allow the negotiations to move to the next phase with the approval of the Irish Government. That is what has happened, but the question is whether we have rock solid, iron clad guarantees. I can only assume that the Taoiseach sought them. We could ask him whether he secured legal assurances from his British counterparts and European colleagues. I assume that they delivered the necessary clarity, certainty and confidence that are so lacking in the joint report. Will the Taoiseach tell the Dáil what additional legal assurances he sought and secured, as opposed to it being a matter of the Irish interpretation or the European Union and British interpretation? Will he give a commitment to publish assurances he may have received in order that Members of the Oireachtas can take the time to examine them?
I also wish to take a moment to address remarks made by the DUP leader, Ms Arlene Foster, in Killarney at the weekend. I acknowledge and welcome her statement that she is opposed to a hard border. The problem is that while Ms Foster and the DUP state they are opposed to a hard border, they are also demanding that the North leave both the customs unions and the Single Market. If that happens, it will guarantee the imposition of a hard border. We have been championing a practical solution, namely, for the North to have special designated status within the European Union. That is the only and best solution. It would also respect the vote of the people in the North and is endorsed by the majority of MLAs. It is endorsed, in particular, by the people of the North and also by the Dáil. I commend it to the Government and also the DUP.