Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed a commitment from the European Parliament’s chief negotiator on Brexit that protecting the Good Friday Agreement is a priority. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The Tory Brexit agenda clearly threatens the Good Friday Agreement and the emerging axis between the Tories and the DUP highlights the need for it to be protected. 

“Following reports of the deal I called on the European Union to ensure the Good Friday Agreement is protected in all its parts. 

“Today’s comments from the European Parliament’s chief negotiator on Brexit, Guy Verhofstadt, that protecting the Good Friday Agreement should be ‘more of a priority’ now since the election are welcome. 

“As a result of pressure from the Sinn Féin team in Europe, the European Parliament in its Brexit negotiating guidelines set it out that the Good Friday Agreement must be protected in all its parts. 

“There is an onus now on the EU, and the Irish government, to ensure that the Agreement is protected from DUP/Tory attempts to undermine it through Brexit. 

“The best way to protect the Good Friday Agreement is for the north to achieve designated special status within the EU.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the benefits of the abolition of EU mobile roaming charges could be lost as a result of the Tory Brexit agenda. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“For many years we have campaigned against unfair mobile phone roaming charges at the European Parliament. 

“This week roaming charges are set to end throughout the EU but customers in the north may not benefit from this if we are dragged out of the EU against our will as a result of the Tory Brexit agenda. 

“This is something that has been won for local customers at the European Parliament but the benefits may be short lived as a result of Brexit. 

“Not only will this mean the possible return of roaming charges for customers, but it will also hit small businesses in border areas who depend on mobile phones for their business. 

“This is yet another example of the disastrous impact Brexit will have on our communities and highlights the need for the north to secure designated special status within the EU.”

 
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on the EU to ensure the Good Friday Agreement is protected from a Tory/DUP axis at Westminster. 
 
Martina Anderson said: 
 
“It is clear the British government’s Brexit agenda is at odds with the Good Friday Agreement. 
 
“The fact they are now entering into partnership with the DUP at Westminster further compromises Theresa May’s government and highlights the need for the Good Friday Agreement to be protected. 
 
“The Tory/DUP position is contrary to the negotiating position set out and agreed  by the European Parliament ahead of the Brexit talks which called for the Good Friday Agreement to be protected in all its parts. 
 
“There is now a clear onus on the EU to protect the Good Friday Agreement – an internationally binding accord – from the Brexit agenda of the British government and their DUP allies. 
 
“We will be raising this with Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit to ensure the Agreement is protected in full. 
 
“We have also raised our concerns with the Irish government as both a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement and a key participant in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.”

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.”