Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said Brexit will jeopardise community employment projects in the north. 
 
Martina Anderson said: 
 
“I visited Upper Bann today alongside Sinn Féin’s national spokesperson on Brexit, John O’Dowd to meet with local businesses, community employment support groups, rural community organisations and others to discuss the impact of the Tory Brexit agenda. 
 
“No matter where I go across the north there is widespread concern about Brexit and its disastrous impact on the north. 
 
“In particular, many people are worried about the potential loss of the European Social Fund which is used to support community employment to tackle long term joblessness. 
 
“I also met with local employers, a number of who rely on workers from across the EU for their business and who are extremely anxious about restrictions on movement across Europe after Brexit. 
 
“I made the case to them that we need to secure designated special status for the north within the EU in order to allay these fears and encouraged them to get behind the growing numbers of people across Ireland and across Europe who already support it.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the British government need to realise that the Good Friday Agreement cannot be cast aside during the Brexit negotiations. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The comments today from the European Commission’s chief negotiator on Brexit, Michel Barnier, following his meetings with the British Brexit minister, David Davis, that more work needs to be done on protecting the Good Friday Agreement. 

“The British government has to date  failed to fulfil its commitments under the Good Friday Agreement and has attempted to undermine it. 

“Now, David Davis, Theresa May and the rest of the Tory cabinet need to realise that they cannot case the Good Friday Agreement, and the cross-border bodies and the rights it guarantees aside during these negotiations. 

“The key players in EU are proud of the Good Friday Agreement and are adamant that it must be protected and today’s remarks from Michel Barnier are welcome. 

“The Tories have to face the fact that they cannot continue with their heads in the sand. They have to listen to the EU, to the Irish government, and the democratic will of the people of the north. 

“In order to protect the Good Friday Agreement and the rights its guarantees for citizens we need to secure special status for the north within the EU. The sooner the Tories realise that the better.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has warned of a growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza as a result of power shortages. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“Conditions in Gaza have been deteriorating for some time and now the people there are forced to live without electricity for 20 hours a day. 

“Sewage facilities have also broken down, causing contamination and leading to serious public health fears. 

“Health provision in the area is on the verge of collapse with mounting pressure on hospitals which are without power. 

“Israel has a responsibility to increase the power supply to Gaza in order to address the growing humanitarian crisis. 

“Instead it has reduced the power supply, adding to the pain and suffering of the population of Gaza. 

“The international community needs to act to save lives in Gaza and end the humanitarian and public health crisis.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said rural communities are concerned about the impact of Brexit and are demanding special status for the north within the EU. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“I visited South Down today alongside local Sinn Féin MLAs Emma Rogan and Sineád Ennis and Chris Hazzard MP to meet with local groups to discuss the impact of Brexit. 

“We met with rural community groups who are concerned about loss of vital funding and the prospect of increased rural isolation, particularly among older people. 

“We also met with farmers who are fearful for their futures as they don’t believe that a Tory government which has been wedded to austerity will replace EU funding streams. They are also worried about the prospect of a reinforced border on the island of Ireland and the devastating impact it would have on the sector. 

“I updated them on the work the Sinn Féin team is doing in the European Parliament to build support for the case for the north to secure designated special status within the EU. 

“There is growing support across Europe for that case and we now need to see everyone, particularly the Irish government, getting behind it to make it a reality.” Ends/Críoch

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said people here may not be able to avail of new measures to be introduced to ban surcharges on debit and credit cards after Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said; 

“Plans announced today to ban surcharges on credit and debit cards will no doubt be welcomed by consumers. 

“This will be brought in from January next year in line with a European Union directive. 

“While this will help consumers once it is introduced, particularly when it comes to making airline bookings online,  there is no certainty that it will be retained post-Brexit when the British government will no longer be bound by EU directives. 

“This is just one of the many uncertainties, like the future of roaming charges, that we are facing as a result of the directionless Tory Brexit agenda. 

“That reality is now being widely recognised, including by one of the authors of Article 50, Lord Kerr, who has now warned of the ‘disastrous consequences’ of Brexit. 

“In order to avoid this uncertainty we need to secure designated special status for the north within the EU. We have been securing support for that across Europe and we need to see the Irish government making it a priority in the current Brexit negotiations.” 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has the impact of the Tory Brexit agenda will limit opportunities for young people. 

Speaking to a youth council event at Queens University, Belfast, Martina Anderson said: 

“Over the course of the last year young people have become more passionate about and more involved in politics. 

“Brexit is undoubtedly one of the issues that has grabbed the attention of young people because it is their future that is being sold short by the Tories and it is they who will bear the brunt of this disastrous plan. 

“Young people are already facing huge challenges as a result of the austerity policies of the Tory government and now they are seeing their opportunities further limited by Brexit. 

“Study opportunities, employment options and travel choices will all be hit by the Tory Brexit agenda. 

“We want to see those opportunities protected and to create more opportunities within a changed, more democratic and accountable EU. 

“To retain these opportunities for young people we need to retain our EU membership through securing special designated status within the EU.” 

It is becoming increasingly obvious that Brexit is incompatible with the Good Friday Agreement and the Irish Government must act to defend it, Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said.

Commenting after Irish government Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney dismissed British claims that technology solutions could prevent a hard border, Ms. Anderson urged him to act on his words.

“In the current round of Brexit negotiations in Brussels it is crucially important that the rights of Irish citizens and the Good Friday Agreement are protected,” she commented.

“It is abundantly clear that the Tory Brexit agenda is incompatible in with the Good Friday Agreement. It isn’t just Sinn Féin saying this. The Irish Government are now saying it also.

“The Irish government, as a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, must act to safeguard it and to secure the rights that it guarantees in the face of this blatant disregard from the Tories. 

“Theresa May’s government will not protect the Good Friday Agreement so it is up to the Irish government to do so. 

“In order to protect the Good Friday Agreement and the rights it guarantees, including the rights of EU citizens in the north, the Irish government must act in the national interest and make securing special status for the north within the EU its priority in these negotiations.”

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Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said health professionals are concerned about the impact Brexit will have on patient care and access to services. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“I met today with representatives of the British Medical Association to discuss their concerns over the impact of the Tory Brexit agenda. 

“Medical professionals are concerned that Brexit will create huge problems both for patient care and for staff. 

“They want to see increased all-Ireland co-operation on healthcare, not increased barriers or borders. 

“They are also very concerned that Brexit would reduce patient access to services and clinicians and that doctors and other health care staff will not be able to move freely or have their qualifications recognised across Europe. 

“These, along with the concerns of many other sectors, can best be addressed by securing designated special status for the north within the EU.”