Category: Press releases

Press releases by Martina Anderson MEP.

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called for international intervention to save the lives of refugees currently on hunger strike on the Greek island of Lesvos. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“A number of refugees who have fled war and persecution are currently on hunger strike in the Moria detention centre on the Greek island of Lesvos. 

“They are being led by Iranian human rights activist, Arash Hampay, who, although not detained himself, is acting on their behalf to draw attention to their plight. 

“It is unacceptable that people like Arash Hampay had more access to medical treatment and services in Iranian prisons where they were held for campaigning for human rights than they do in the EU where they have come to escape persecution. 

“As their condition deteriorates we need to see action from the international community, and the EU in particular to save their lives. 

“It would be a poor reflection on human rights standards if they managed to survive war and oppression, together with a dangerous sea crossing, only to die in a supposed place of safety. 

“We need urgent humanitarian action to save the lives of refugees, not more tragedies.” 

Sinn Fein MEP, Martina Anderson, has welcomed the allocation of £8 million of E.U funding to Belfast Metropolitan College. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“This funding has been allocated as part of the Interreg North-West Europe programme, which encourages co-operation among Europe’s regions.

“This money will be used to research hydrogen-based renewable energy technology, involving co-operation with educational institutions in Germany, France and Belgium. 

“This funding will benefit students and staff in Belfast Met. as well as creating a knowledge base in the area of green technology.

“The north stands to lose this type of funding as a result of Brexit, losing the opportunities that funding like this brings will stifle valuable projects such as this one. 

“That is why is is vital we secure special status for the north within the EU to retain such opportunities.” 

To access the latest edition of the monthly Brexit newsletter from Martina Anderson MEP click Here

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed a personal commitment from the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier, that he will ensure the Good Friday Agreement is protected in the Brexit negotiations. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“I had sent Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit, a copy of our ‘Special Status within the EU – Essential Principles concerning the border in Ireland and the status of the north of Ireland’ document to emphasise how important it is to protect the Good Friday Agreement during the Brexit negotiations. 

“It is vitally important that the Good Friday Agreement is protected in all its parts in line with the joint resolution of the European Parliament. 

“Michel Barnier has now responded and said he is ‘personally committed to make every effort to ensure that nothing in the withdrawal agreement undermines the Good Friday Agreement.’ 

“That commitment is welcome and underscores the EU’s determination to protect the Good Friday Agreement. 

“However the fact that Michel Barnier has previously pointed out that more work is needed to protect north-south bodies sows that Britain does not share this determination. 

“Securing designated special status for the north within the EU would not only protect the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts but it would also protect the rights of Irish citizens.” 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said any drop in farm incomes as a result of Brexit could increase risks for farmers. 

Speaking during Farm Safety Week, Martina Anderson said: 

“Safety is a major issue on farms across Ireland and this week in particular during farm safety week we remember all those who have tragically lost their lives while farming. 

“There is no doubt that farming can be a dangerous task and I would encourage all those involved in farming to follow the correct safety procedures in order to keep safe on the farm. 

“With many farmers under financial pressure and worried about the future as a result of Brexit there are concerns that a drop in farm incomes could lead to increased safety risks for farmers. 

“With the prospect of less money coming in some may be tempted to cut corners when it comes to safety. We must ensure that does not happen. 

“Farm incomes and farmers can be protected through securing designated special status for the north within the EU.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the future of green energy research in the north could be jeopardised by Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The fact that Queen’s University, Belfast has been awarded an £8 million Interreg funding package for research into renewable energy shows the opportunities that exist as a result of our EU membership. 

“This funding will help benefit the all-Ireland green energy sector and has the potential to significantly enhance our knowledge in environmental research. 

“This is the type of funding we stand to lose as a result of the Tory Brexit agenda. 

“Not only will this loss of funding impact on research but it will also limit the opportunities of students as it could lead to less PhD places and post doctoral research places. 

“It shows that not only is Brexit bad for our economy but also our environment and for young people. 

“In order to protect EU Interreg research funding in the future we need to secure designated special status for the north within the EU.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the international community needs to act to after Israeli raids on a hospital in Jerusalem. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The raids by the Israeli Defence Forces on the Makassed Islamic Society Hospital in Jerusalem are part of the ongoing escalation of tensions in the area, including the controversial introduction of metal detectors in the al-Aqsa mosque. 

“Hospitals should be places of safety where the sick and injured receive care; they should not be subject to military occupation and raids. 

“We now have the situation where potentially life-saving care could be obstructed by the presence of Israeli soldiers. 

“It is an abuse of the human rights of patients and staff at the hospital. 

“This cannot be allowed to continue and we need to see action from the international community to guarantee the safety and human rights of the Palestinian people.” 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Tory promises on future agriculture subsidies post Brexit contain no detail and will not allay the fears of farmers. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“Many farmers fear for their futures as a result of the Tory Brexit agenda and that situation was made worse by Tory minister Michael Gove’s warning over subsidies. 

“His attempts to allay those fears at the Antrim Show have failed because he not not provided any details. 

“We all know that empty words from the Tories will not help farmers, many of whom are already struggling. 

“To date the Tories have shown little or no regard for the people of the north so why would we expect any different now? 

“The best way to protect farm incomes in the future is to secure designated special status within the EU and that is what Sinn Féin has been building support for across Europe.”