MICHAEL MCMONAGLE

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has announced that anti-Brexit lobby group Border Communities Against Brexit have won a prestigious EU Citizen’s Award. 

Martina Anderson said :

“I am delighted to announce that anti-Brexit lobby group, Border Communities Against Brexit have been named as winners of the prestigious European Citizen’s Award 2017. 

“The group was nominated for this award by Sinn Féin MEPs because of their tireless opposition to the Tory Brexit agenda which will be disastrous for Ireland, and will be most keenly felt in border areas. 

“It was an honour to nominate Border Communities Against Brexit for this award and to bring them to the European Parliament to meet the key players in Brexit and to stand with them at protests against the Tory Brexit agenda. 

“The fact they have now won a EU Citizen’s Award is a recognition of the hard work and dedication of Border Communities Against Brexit in standing up for the democratic will of the people of the north. 

“Sinn Féin will continue to support Border Communities Against Brexit as we build support for our credible alternative to Brexit with our case for the north to secure designated special status within the EU.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Tory Brexit agenda threatens the rights of children and young people. 

Speaking after meeting representatives from the Children’s Law Centre in Belfast, Martina Anderson said: 

“I met today with Paddy Kelly from the Children’s Law Centre in Belfast to discuss their concerns over the impact of the Tory Brexit agenda on children and young people. 

“EU directives and legislation covers child protection services, deals with child abduction cases, ensures the safety of young people in the work place, guarantees the rights of child migrants, ensures rigorous safety standards for toys, food and other products and many other key protections. 

“The EU is also the vehicle for the implementation of the UN Convention of Rights of the Child. 

“These rights will be lost if the Tories succeed in dragging us out of the EU against our will. 

“Children and young people will not have the same level of rights and protections from a Tory government committed to undermining rights. 

“The best way to secure these and other rights is through the north securing designated special status within the EU.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the only money to come into the north as a result of Brexit was the ‘dark money’ the DUP received to back leaving the EU. 

Speaking in Brussels, Martina Anderson said: 

“The only money that came to the North of Ireland through BREXIT was dark, shadowy and unaccountable. 

“The DUP received  the grand total of £425,622 to advertise support for BREXIT and the vast majority was spent in Britain, not in Ireland.

“The unanswered questioned is – who paid the DUP?

“The DUP has been asked to report on the original source of this money bit so far we have not had any answers. 

“Serious allegations by Open Democracy linked the previously unheard of Constitutional Research Council and  Saudi intelligence to the cash. 

“Whoever the donors are, we know that the DUP took the money for Brexit but we’ll all pay the price.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said securing designated status for the north within the EU is essential for businesses and the community and voluntary sector. 

Speaking after hosting a meeting in Derry on what designated special status within the EU would look like, Martina Anderson said: 

“It’s very important that we hear from the business sector and the community sector and their views on Brexit and how it will impact us here. 

“We had a positive engagement with many representatives of these sectors in Derry today and heard their concern about the Tory Brexit agenda and Theresa May’s plans to drag us out of the EU against our will. 

“It is essential that the negotiators hear our voice and our demand for special designated status for the North within the EU. 

“I and my Sinn Féin colleagues in the European Parliament have been engaging with the negotiators and key players to make sure they are aware of the need for the north to secure designated special status within the EU. 

“We will continue to ensure that the voice of the business community and the community and voluntary sector is heard where it matters in Europe.”

 

Martina Anderson MEP will host an information meeting on what designated special status within the EU would look like as an alternative to Brexit. 

The event will be held in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin on Tuesday, May 30th, at 11am and will bring together individuals and groups from a range of sectors to discuss the impact of Brexit on the north. 

It will focus on what securing designated special status for the north within the EU would look like and how it would work. 

Speaking ahead of the event, Martina Anderson MEP said; 

“There is no doubt that the Tory Brexit agenda to drag us out of the EU against the will of the people here would be disastrous for the north and for the entire island. 

“The people rejected that agenda in last year’s referendum and since then there has been growing concern about the impact of Brexit. 

“But there is an alternative. Brexit is not a done deal and we have put forward a case for the north to secure designated special status within the EU and it has already received support across Ireland and across Europe.” 

Ms Anderson, who sits with the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament continued: 

“I have met and lobbied the key players on Brexit in Europe on our case for designated special status and it is clear there is significant support for it across Europe. 

“We now need to see the Irish government make the case for designated special status a demand in the upcoming Brexit negotiations. 

“The Irish government, as a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, have a responsibility to act in the best national interests of all Irish citizens, including those in the north and it is clear that securing designated special status within the EU is in our best interests.” 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said the DUP’s support for Brexit was bought and paid for by ‘dark money’ but that it will be the people of Ireland who pay.

Martina Anderson was speaking after she and Sinn Féin MEPs Matt Carthy and Liadh Ní Riada along with election candidates Paul Maskey and Mairéad O’Donnell launched a ‘BREXIT: DUP took the money, we all pay the price’ billboard in West Belfast.

Martina Anderson said:

“The DUP signed up to the Leave campaign and accepted a donation of £425,622 from a previously unheard of shadowy group the Constitutional Research Council (CRC). 

 “There is serious public concern that the Leave campaign may have funneled this money through the DUP to circumvent electoral rules in Britain.

“We know that most of the money was used in newspaper advertising, posters and even t-shirts which were distributed in Britain.

“The DUP did not have the capacity to do this and have refused so far to disclose who the donors were behind the CRC. They should disclose these donors immediately and what benefits the DUP received from this funding.

“The DUP destroyed public confidence in the political institutions in the north through its involvement in the RHI scandal, NAMA and Red Sky and allegations of corruption at the heart of politics.

“The DUP took the money for its support for Brexit but it is the people of the North who will pay the price.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the international community needs to act immediately to tackle the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“Despite not being in the headlines, the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean has not gone away. 

“Just this week more than 200 people have died trying to make their way across the Mediterranean, fleeing war and persecution hoping for a better life in Europe. 

“Hundreds more have been rescued from the water by international rescue vessels. 

“There is a responsibility on the international community, and the EU in particular, to act to tackle the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean and act to save lives. 

“This has been going on too long and we need action from the international community to prevent further tragedies.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Tory Brexit agenda would jeopardise the livelihoods of many involved in the business community in the north. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“There is widespread concern across the business community, particularly among those involved in small to medium sized enterprises about the prospect of being dragged out of the EU against our will. 

“The comments from the head of Invest NI when he said said he is excited about Brexit and that it brings possibilities do not reflect of the views of business people I have met from across the north. Such remarks turn a blind eye to the fears and concerns of the business community and echoing the Tory approach to Brexit, which is also backed by the DUP.

“The fact is that the Tory Brexit agenda is bad for business in the north and across the island and the livelihoods of many involved in business would be jeopardised. 

“Claims that leaving the EU would help attract investment to the north don’t stack up when taken alongside remarks from leading figures in the business world here that they are actually looking to leave the north as a result of Brexit. 

“The best way to protect our economy and our business community from Brexit is to secure designated status for the north within the EU.”