Category: Press releases

Press releases by Martina Anderson MEP.

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said designated special status for the north within the EU is the best way to secure the integrity of the customs union. 

Speaking in the European Parliament in Strasbourg, Martina Anderson said: 

“There are 277 roads crossing the border in Ireland. This is not counting farms that straddle the border, nor houses where you enter the front door on one side of the border and leave through the back door on the other side.

“Bringing back customs posts on the border in Ireland will be unworkable, as well as politically unacceptable.

“The integrity of the customs union demands that a solution be found which keeps the north of Ireland in the EU, and in the customs union. 

“The best way to achieve this is through a designated special status within the EU, something the Irish government and the European Parliament must insist on.

“This is the flexible and imaginative solution to the Brexit problem in Ireland.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Sinn Féin leaders are directly engaging with EU leaders on the case for the north to have designated special status within the EU. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“Today, Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald began a two-day visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg to engage directly with EU leaders on Brexit. 

“These meetings are part of Sinn Féin’s diplomatic offensive to build support for the case for the north to have designated special status within the EU. 

“They will meet with Roberto Gualtieri and Gianna Pittella from the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament to outline our opposition to the Tory Brexit agenda and the border. 

“They, along with the Sinn Féin MEP team, will also meet with other MEPs from our own GUE/NGL group to discuss the impact Brexit would have on our economy, our peace process as well as our credible alternative to the Tory Brexit agenda. 

“We value the support we have from across Europe and the Sinn Féin leadership team will continue with our meetings in Strasbourg tomorrow.

“We will work to build support for our case for designated special status so that the democratic will of the majority of people in the north to live in a social and more democratic Europe can be realised.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Michelle O’Neill and Mary Lou McDonald will travel to Strasbourg tomorrow for a series of meetings with senior EU figures on Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said; 

“Sinn Féin’s deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD and party leader in the north Michelle O’Neill will travel to Strasbourg tomorrow for a two-day visit to the European Parliament, during which they will meet with senior figures to discuss Brexit. 

“This visit by the Sinn Féin leadership is part of our ongoing diplomatic offensive to build support for our case for designated status for the north within the EU. 

“During the visit they, along with the Sinn Féin MEP team, will hold a series of meetings with members of the European Parliament’s steering group on Brexit, including the Parliament’s chief negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt.

“They will also meet with a number of the presidents of the main political groupings in the Parliament. 

“Our meetings will also include an engagement with Agriculture  Commissioner Phil Hogan to discuss the impact of the Tories’ plans to take the north out of the EU against our will. 

“The Sinn Féin leadership team will also meet with Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly to reiterate the need for the Irish government to stand up for the interests of all Irish citizens, including those living in the North, and to make securing designated special status within the EU its negotiation position. 

“We value the ongoing support we have received from Europe in the face of the reckless Brexit agenda of the British Tories and look forward to continuing support so that the will of the people of the north can be realised and that we see our future in a more social and democratically accountable EU.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Good Friday Agreement must be protected against Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The recent Joint Declaration on Brexit in the European Parliament called for the Good Friday Agreement to be protected in all its parts. 

“That clause was included after considerable engagements with MEPs from across Europe by myself and the Sinn Féin MEP team. 

“The Tory Brexit agenda is completely at odds with the Good Friday Agreement, which was ratified in democratic referenda across the island of Ireland. 

“Now we have former British prime minster Tony Blair stating that the Good Friday Agreement may have to be changed as a result of Brexit. 

“The Good Friday Agreement is an internationally binding agreement, lodged at the United Nations and must be protected against the agenda of Tory Brexiteers and their DUP allies. 

“Sinn Féin has put forward a credible alternative to Brexit. This would see the north achieve designated special status within the EU and we are building support for that to ensure that all Irish citizens can live in a social Europe with greater democratic accountability.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said farmers should get behind the campaign for the north to have designated status for the north within the EU as the only credible alternative to Brexit. 

Speaking from the Balmoral Show, Martina Anderson said: 

“I have met with many farmers and others involved in the agriculture industry at the Balmoral Show today and Brexit is the main issue on their minds. 

“There is a genuine fear among many farmers and others in the agri-sector about Tory plans to drag us out of the EU. 

“EU funding has helped farmers modernise, diversify and be competitive in the marketplace and that will be lost if Theresa May gets her way. 

“EU regulations have also ensured we have the highest standards of food safety and, as a result, the excellent produce from the north is highly valued across Europe. That reputation could be jeopardised by unregulated imports coming in from outside the EU. 

“I made it clear to farmers at the Balmoral Show that there is a credible alternative to Brexit and that is for the north to have designated special status within the EU. 

“Sinn Féin has been building support for that case and we now need to see the Irish government acting in the interests of all Irish citizens, including those involved in the agriculture industry in the North, by making it a formal demand in the negotiations.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said there is widespread concern among the agricultural community over Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“This week tens of thousands of people who are involved in our farming and agricultural sector will gather at the Balmoral Show and they will do so at a time of great concern. 

“The prospect of being dragged out of the EU by the Tories against the democratic will of the people of the north is causing widespread concern among farmers, with many fearing for their livelihoods, including those who have been on the land for generations. 

“Brexit would have disastrous consequences for agriculture right across the island of Ireland. Not only will our farmers lose vital funding through the Single Farm Payment but they will also lose automatic access to a marketplace of more than 500,000 million customers. 

“Farmers I have spoken to across the north have no faith that this money will be replaced by the Tories. 

“The best way to support our agriculture industry is through the case for the north to have designated special status within the EU put forward by Sinn Féin. 

“We have been building support for that case across Europe and it is now up to the Irish government to work to secure designated special status for the north within the EU to protect our farmers and all citizens.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has condemned the treatment of Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli jails. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“More than 1,500 Palestinian political prisoners are currently on hunger strike in Israeli prisons, and they have now been joined by leading Palestinian activist, Leila Khaled. 

“Various human rights organisations have stated that the treatment of Palestinian prisoners, violates international law. 

“Prisoners have been denied access to legal representation, many have been locked in solitary confinement, access to vital medical services is not adequate and family visits are only permitted twice a month. 

“The international community must take action to put pressure on Israel to grant the demands of the Palestinian hunger strikers. If action is not taken as soon as possible, to put an end to the injustices faced by these prisoners, more people will die on hunger strike.
 
“The EU should now move to suspend the EU – Israel Association Agreement act while Israel continues to violate the rights of the Palestinian people.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said it is clear there is support in Europe for the north to have designated special status within the EU. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The EU has shown itself to be well aware of the unique challenges we face in the north as a result of the Tories’ determination to drag us out of the EU against our will.

“The latest comments by the European Parliament’s chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt that any Brexit deal could require special status for the north are welcome. 

“Designated special status for the north within the EU is the only credible alternative to the Tory Brexit agenda, which would clearly be disastrous for Ireland. 

“Sinn Féin has been building support for designated status across Ireland and across the EU and it is now up to the Irish government to stand up for the interests of Irish citizens and make designated status for the north within the EU its negotiating position.”