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Snippet Contents:

It cannot be allowed to happen. Make no mistake: it is the considered strategy of the British Government. It is playing for time for precisely this reason. Much is at stake and in the past two years we have had nothing but chaos and division from the British Government. We have had two years of putting Ireland at risk economically, politically and socially. Now is the time to draw a line in the sand and say, "Enough is enough".
This meeting will be a serious and substantive test of the "Ireland first" position articulated by Donald Tusk, Michel Barnier, Jean-Claude Juncker and our Government. "Ireland first" cannot simply be sweet words whispered to assure the ears of the Irish public. The Irish public do not want to be soothed; they want solutions, protection, security and guarantees. In Brussels, “Ireland first" must ring emphatically in the ears of the British Prime Minister and her negotiating team. They should be left in no doubt as to the absolute certainty of that position. Those words must then be applied in both policy and action. The EU and the Government must tell the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, that she has come this far but will not go any further without delivering credible solutions and without answering the Irish question. It is as simple, straightforward and essential as this.
I raised this matter when the European Commission President, Mr. Juncker, addressed the Houses of the Oireachtas. An annex to the backstop on the issue of citizens' rights was to be published. It is within the gift of the EU through Mr. Barnier's task force to publish this annex. I ask the Taoiseach, Mr. Barnier and the EU to publish that text without delay.