Martina Anderson said:
“Sinn Féin has put forward a credible alternative to Brexit with our case for the north to secure designated special status within the EU.
“As part of our engagement to build support for the case for designated status we met today with the German ambassador to Ireland, Matthias Hopfner.
“At the meeting we outlined how disastrous the Tory Brexit agenda would be for the people of Ireland, north and south.
“It is clear there is support across Europe for the north to achieve designated status within the EU. We now need to see the Irish government demanding special designated status for the north within the EU.
“Sinn Féin will continue to engage across Europe to build further support for our case for designated status.”
Martina Anderson said:
“I welcome the fact that the North West Centre for Advanced Manufacturing has been awarded almost €7.5 million ERDF funding.
“This will allow the centre to create an all-Ireland super cluster in the north west within the health and life sciences business sector.
“It will support 15 different research projects in this field.
“This shows the level of support we receive from the EU to support the growth and development of homegrown business in the north.
“This support will be lost to us as a result of the Brexit agenda being pursued by the Tories and supported by the DUP.
“The best way to preserve this funding and the opportunities it creates is for the north to secure designated special status within the EU.”
Sinn Féin MEP has welcomed the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes and tobacco products.
Martina Anderson said:
“Between January and May 2009 the Sri Lankan military massacred tens of thousands of Tamil civilians in an outrageous war crime.
“The UN estimates that at least 70,000 Tamils were killed when the Sri Lankan army carried out a brutal attack on an area it had designated a supposedly ‘safe zone’ in the north of the island.
“No one has every been held accountable for this war crime, which Sri Lankans commemorate every May 18 as Mullivaikkal Remembrance Day.
“Today I met a group of Tamils who are visiting Derry to discuss the legacy of this war crime, which an international tribunal found was carried out with the complicity of the United States and Britain.
“The EU has granted a favourable trading agreement to Sri Lanka despite the human rights abuses against the Tamil people and we will continue to campaign against that in the European Parliament.
“Sinn Féin will continue to support the Tamil people in their campaign for justice and freedom.”
Speaking during a debate in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Martina Anderson said:
“EU cohesion funding has been vital for the north of Ireland and for border communities recovering from years of conflict and neglect.
“Now all this good work is under threat because of a Brexit that most people in the north do not want and did not vote for.
“By supporting Brexit the DUP has let the people of the north down as we stand to lose 982 million euros in structural funding.
“This is funding that thousands of people depend on for their businesses, community projects, and infrastructure.
“Some projects are already being delayed because of the fear and uncertainty around Brexit.
“The EU needs to ensure that the benefits of decades of cohesion policy aren’t lost by ensuring that the north has guaranteed ongoing access to funding after Brexit, as part of a designated special status within the EU.”
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Brexit would create huge problems for businesses across Ireland.
“Proposals put forward by the Irish government’s Revenue Commissioner on Brexit and all-Ireland freight haulage highlight the disastrous impact it would have on the industry and the wider economy.
“The idea that eight per cent of freight crossing the border would have to be subject to checks shows the delays – and costs, that hauliers would face.
“3.2 million freight vehicles cross the border each year and stopping and checking eight per cent of those vehicles would result in a loss of up to 117 business hours a day for the sector.
“It costs one pound per minute to operate these lorries so the cost of these delays would add increased pressure to many businesses.
“Losses and delays of that level would be a disaster for the economy as the cost of transporting goods would increase which in turn would lead to higher costs for consumers.
“This is an indication of the hugely negative impact of Brexit on one sector and many other industries and sectors would face the same situation.
“Sinn Féin have put forward a credible alternative to Brexit with our case for the north to have designated special status within the EU and that provides the best outcome to hauliers and other industries.”
Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Martina Anderson said:
“The European Council Guidelines on Brexit gave support to the Good Friday Agreement ‘in all its parts’.
“This is a commitment by the EU to not allow for any hardening of the border between the north and the south of Ireland.
“As Irish republicans we do not want to see any border on the island of Ireland and we have put forward a credible alternative to Brexit which would see the north securing designated special status within the EU.
“The guidelines are also a commitment not to allow Irish citizens to be dragged out of the EU against our will.
“Now that we have the guidelines we should be putting some flesh on them to ensure they fully uphold the Good Friday Agreement.
“It is clear that Brexit is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement and the EU need to ensure it is protected. I have raised this directly with the President of the EU Commission, Jean Claude Juncker; President of the Council of Europe, Donald Tusk; and the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier, in the last 24 hours.
“There should be no weakening of these commitments in the Negotiating Directives to be adopted on 22nd May.”