Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said it is clear the British government is in chaos over Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“As the latest cycle of Brexit negotiations begins this week, it is clear that the Tory cabinet is in total disarray over Brexit. 

“More than one year on from the referendum they still can’t agree on the key Breixt issues; a fact acknowledged by British Chancellor Philip Hammond. 

“They are lacking in effective leadership, cohesion and direction. 

“This round of negotiations, effectively the real start of the process, is focusing on rights and it is clear the Tories do not care about the rights of the people of the north of Ireland. 

“They continue to ignore the democratic will of the people of the north over Brexit and they have demonstrated a total lack of interest in our rights. 

“In order to protect our rights from the Tory Brexit agenda we need to secure designated special status for the North within the EU and we also need to see action from the Irish government on taking that forward.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Good Friday Agreement and rights of citizens must be protected from the Tory Brexit agenda. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The Tory Brexit agenda would lead to the erosion of citizen’s rights. We cannot allow the rights guaranteed to citizens under the Good Friday Agreement to be undermined and we must ensure that it is protected in all its parts. 

“It guarantees the right for the people of the North to be Irish citizens, and as a result, EU citizens, and their rights must be protected. 

“I welcome the proposal from the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, who I met this week, for the people of the north to be allowed to vote for MEPs post Brexit. 

“The right to be directly represented and to participate in the democratic process is a fundamental right and Britain cannot be allowed to take that away from the people of the north. 

“To date any proposal from the British government on protecting the rights of citizens have been underwhelming to say the least. 

“Securing designated special status for the north within the EU is the best way to protect citizen’s rights from the Tory Brexit agenda and we are building support for that across Europe.” 

 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has today met with the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhofstadt to discuss Brexit.

Martina Anderson said:

“I met today with the European Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt in Brussels today to discuss the impact of Brexit on Ireland.

“This is the latest in a series of regular engagements I have with Guy Verhofstadt to ensure he is aware of the need for issues around the north of Ireland and Brexit are included in the ongoing Brexit negotiations.

“We discussed the border and the need for the rights of citizens in the north of Ireland to be protected, including the need for the European Court of Justice to be able to enforce those rights in compliance with EU standards. 

“We also discussed issues around ensuring that those entitled to EU citizenship in the north as a result of the Good Friday Agreement have a voice in the EU institutions. 

“I was also pleased that Guy Verhofstadt confirmed he will visit Ireland in September to see the impact the Tory Brexit agenda will have at first hand and meet the Border Communities Against Brexit campaign group. 

“We also discussed the need for the north to secure designated special status within the EU and we are continuing to build support for that case across Europe.” 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has met today with the chief executives of Derry and Strabane District Council and Donegal County Council in Brussels to discuss Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“There is no doubt that the Tory Brexit agenda is disastrous for Ireland and that its impact will be particularly felt in border areas. 

“Today in Brussels I met with the Chief Executives of Derry and Strabane District Council and Donegal Council Council, John Kelpie and Seamus Neely, to discuss the impact of Brexit. 

“There is clear concern over Brexit, particularly in areas such as Derry and Donegal. 

“I updated the chief executives on the work of the Sinn Féin team in Europe in highlighting the impact of Brexit on Ireland and on building support for the north to secure designated special status within the EU.

“We will continue to engage with the chief executives of both councils as we continue to work to secure special status within the EU for the north.” 

 
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the rights of Irish citizens must be protected in the ongoing Brexit negotiations. 
 
Martina Anderson said: 
 
“The latest round of meetings in the Brexit negotiations will get underway today and will focus on the rights of citizens. 
 
“It is essential at this stage of the negotiations includes protecting the rights of the people of Ireland, north and south. 
 
“Today, the European Parliament’s Brexit Steering Group has made it clear that the rights of all EU citizens should be upheld and protected. 
 
“That includes the 1.8 million people in the north who are entitled to EU citizenship because they are entitled to be Irish citizens through the Good Friday Agreement. 
 
“We want to ensure that their rights as EU citizens are protected in these negotiations. 
 
 
“The Tories want to trample over these rights by dragging us out of the EU against our will while at the same time joining up with the DUP to deny rights to large sections of our community. 
 
“In order to protect the rights of the people of the north we need to ensure special designated status for the north within the EU and we will continue to build support for that across Europe.” 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on the Irish government to help garner European support for the north to secure designated special status within the EU. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The Irish government’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, is this week travelling throughout Europe meeting foreign ministers and other key officials to discuss Brexit. 

“I welcome the fact that Simon Coveney has already indicated that the Irish government will seek special status for the north within the EU. 

“Among those he met was the British government’s Brexit secretary, David Davis as well as his counterparts in Bulgaria and Paris. 

“It is important in all of these meetings that governments across Europe are made aware of the need for the north to secure special status within the EU. 

“Securing special status for the north within the EU is achievable and we have been building support for it across Europe. We now need to see the Irish government doing the same.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said it is clear there is confusion among senior Tory ministers who have contradictory positions on Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“It is now more than a year since the EU referendum and in that time the Tories have clearly been unable to come up with anything approaching a co-ordinated approach. 

“We have seen dissension in the senior ranks of the Tory party with ministers clearly split over Brexit, just as they were in the run-up to the referendum. 

“Now we have the bizarre situation where British Chancellor Philip Hammond has said he wants to retain associate membership of the Customs Union during an implementation period after Brexit while his cabinet colleague, International Development Secretary Liam Fox has said Britain needs to leave the Customs Union. 

“This shows that senior ministers are all at sea over Brexit while Prime Minister Theresa Brexit is appearing more and more like the captain of a ship heading for an iceberg but refusing to change course. 

“All of this makes it more important for the North to secure special designated status within the EU and we have been building support for that case throughout Europe.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has warned that patients in the north may have to wait longer for vital new medicines as a result of Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“Currently all new medicines and drugs to enter the healthcare system are regulated and approved by the European Medicines Agency, which is based in London. 

“There is considerable doubt however, about what will happen if Britain leaves the European Medicines Agency as a result of Brexit. 

“One outcome could be that patients have to wait longer for access to new medicines because we would no longer be part of the EU under the Tory Brexit agenda. 

“That would potentially put people’s health at risk. 

“The best way to retain our membership of the European Medicines Agency is for the north to secure designated status within the EU.”