Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Irish interests must be safeguarded before the Brexit negotiations can progress. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“Today I met with British Labour MEP Claude Moares to discuss the impact of the Tory Brexit agenda on the people of Ireland. 

“I welcome the recent move from Labour that they are now prepared to look at remaining in the single market and customs union post-Brexit. 

“We discussed the need to safeguard Irish interests during the Brexit negotiations. 

“It is clear that the those interests need to be discussed and resolved before the negotiations can move on to discuss other aspects of Brexit. 

“Both the British and Irish governments must realise that our interests must be safeguarded and the best way to do that is to work to secure special status for the north within the EU.” 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has raised the case of Derry man Tony Taylor in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and called for his immediate release. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“I addressed the chamber in the European Parliament in Strasbourg last night and raised the case of imprisoned Derry man, Tony Taylor. 

“I told MEPs that his continued imprisonment is an affront to justice and democracy. 

“His continued detention is wrong and needs to end.  

“I told the Parliament that he should be released immediately or brought before a court. 

“On Friday, Elisha McCallion MP, Raymond McCartney MLA and I will be going to Maghaberry to visit Tony Taylor and we will once again call for his release.” 

For the latest newsletter from Martina Anderson MEP on the Brexit negotiations process click here

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said there is growing support in the EU for special status for the north. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has made it clear that he is worried about the proposals relating to Ireland and the border being put forward by the Tories. 

“It is encouraging but not surprising that senior EU figures recognise our unique circumstances because that is the message I and my Sinn Féin colleagues have been getting when we meet with MEPs from across Europe lobbying for special status. 

“The EU has stated clearly that it wants to protect the Good Friday Agreement and avoid the imposition of an EU frontier on the island of Ireland. 

“The best way to to do that is to secure designated special status for the North within the EU. 

“The EU has challenged the Tories to look for a unique solution for the north; in my eyes that would be special status within the EU.” 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said state agents cannot be above the law and must be subject to accountability and transparency. 

Speaking from Brussels, Martina Anderson said: 

“Today at the European Parliament in Brussels I chaired a session of an event looking into the role of state agents and the use of surveillance against campaigners and activists. 

“The event brought together activists, campaigners and politicians who have all been targeted by undercover agents and surveillance. It also heard from lawyers acting on their behalf. 

“In some cases, these undercover agents formed long term relationships without revealing their real identities, stole the identities of dead children and spied on grieving relatives. 

“And in the North we know all too well the role of undercover state agents in in the murders of many people. 

“They cannot be allowed to act with immunity. State agents must not be above the law and must be subject to the same accountability and transparency as others.” 

Sinn Fein MEP Martina Anderson has told the European Parliament’s Brexit Co-ordinator that the Good Friday Agreement must be protected from the Tory Brexit agenda. 
Martina Anderson said: 
“The EU has long been a supporter of the peace process in the north and continues to be actively involved in its promotion and development. 
“I met yesterday with the European Parliament’s Brexit Co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt to discuss his ongoing support for the Good Friday Agreement and the need for it to be protected from Brexit. 
“There is no doubt that the Tory Brexit agenda is a serious threat to the Good Friday Agreement, which is an internationally binding agreement endorsed by the majority of people in the north and across the north. 
“The Tories not like majority votes in the north but they can’t ignore them. 
“In order to fully protect the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts it should now be included as a protocol in the Brexit withdrawal agreement in order to secure the rights it guarantees. 
“Securing designated special status for the north within the EU is the best way to protect the Agreement and the rights of the people of Ireland.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has praised the efforts of the civic society in aiding the Basque peace process. 

Speaking after chairing a discussion at a Basque friendship event in the European Parliament in Brussels, Martina Anderson said: 

“Today I chaired an event which looked at the role of civic society in encouraging and promotion the Basque peace process. 

“It was also attended by Reverend Harold Good, who played a major role in our own peace process in Ireland. 

“In particular we looked at the excellent work being carried out by Bake Bidea, a civil society platform from the north Basque country which brings together political parties, trade unions and social movements. 

“It has played a vital role in the peace process, including the development which saw weapons being put beyond use. 

“Importantly, it has also placed a particular emphasis on the issue of prisoners and tackling the causes and consequences of the conflict. 

“In any peace process it it essential that wider civil society gets involved in the way Bake Bidea has done. 

“It is important that we share the experiences from our peace process and learn from the experiences of others in order to assist communities emerging from conflict across the world.” 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said all-Ireland institutions and bodies must be protected from the Tory Brexit agenda. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The comments from the EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier that substantial work is needed on cross-border bodies in the Brexit negotiations highlights the need for them to be protected. 

“The all-Ireland institutions were created as part of the Good Friday Agreement – an internationally binding document – and must be protected along with the rest of the Agreement. 

“The Tory Brexit agenda cannot be allowed to ride roughshod over the Good Friday Agreement. 

“The Irish government, as a co-guarantor of that Agreement, also need to make it clear in the negotiations that the Good Friday Agreement and the all-Ireland bodies it created are not negotiable. 

“The best way to protect the all-Ireland bodies and the other rights the Good Friday Agreement guarantees is for the north to secure special status within the EU.”