Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Irish government needs to oppose all aspects of the Tory Brexit agenda. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“I have been contacted by a number of people who travel regularly on cross-border buses, particularly the Belfast to Dublin route, who have said they have seen an increase in immigration checks on the buses. 

“On several occasions it has been reported that members of the Garda have boarded buses and asked all passengers for identification. 

“This smacks of a hardening of the border and a reinforcing of partition. 

“It raises serious questions about whether the Irish government are pre-empting Brexit and doing the bidding of the British Tories who are looking to oppose a hard border on the island of Ireland. 

“We do not want to see any border on the island of Ireland and have put forward a credible alternative to Brexit with the case for designated special status for the north within the EU. 

“The Irish government should be working to secure designated status and acting in the interests of all Irish citizens instead of following the Tory line on Brexit.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has stated that the Irish government need to challenge the Tories over their disregard for human rights protections. 

Speaking ahead of the 3rd Universal Periodic Review of the British Government by the United Nations, Martina Anderson said: 

“The Universal Periodic Review of human rights standards in Britain and the north could not have come at a better time. The Brexit agenda of the Tories will have serious human rights implications for the north. The Tory plan to scrap the 1998 Human Rights Act is adding insult to injury.

“It is clear the Tories don’t care about human rights protections or the people of the north. 

“The Irish Government, as a co-guarantor of the Good Friday Agreement, has an obligation to stand up and challenge the British government on its attitude to human rights. 

“Brexit directly threatens the Good Friday Agreement. Sinn Féin will continue to pursue a designated special status for the north to remain within the EU to guarantee human and workers’ rights protections.

“Both the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights have stood up for the rights of persons with disabilities, for women, for workers, for victims of conflict, for cultural expression and for minorities.

“The Irish Government now needs to show some resolve and act in the best interests of all Irish citizens by challenging the British government.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Tories have not yet grasped the realities of Brexit and are putting their heads in the sand. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“It is clear that David Davis and the British Tories are still trying to have their cake and eat it over Brexit with his comments that Britain will not pay the divorce bill for leaving the EU. 

“Almost a year on from the referendum and following the agreeing of the EU’s guidelines on Brexit negotiations, the Tories are still oblivious to the facts and are making it up as they go along. 

“The only certainty of the Tory Brexit agenda is the disastrous impact that dragging us out of the EU against our will would have on the north and the entire island of Ireland. 

“The Tories can put their heads in the sand and try to ignore the realities if they like but for our part Sinn Féin has put forward a credible alternative to Brexit and that is for the north to secure designated special status for the north within the EU. 

“We have been building support for that across Ireland and across Europe and there is now a responsibility on the Irish government to make securing designated special status for the north within the EU its negotiating position in the upcoming Brexit negotiations.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said British prime minister Theresa May is deluded over the realities of Brexit. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“To hear British Prime Minister Theresa May state her belief that no deal is better than a bad deal on Brexit is ludicrous and shows just how deluded she is. 

“The Tories don’t seem to understand that they can’t just walk out of the EU one day and hope to start a completely new relationship the next.

“They clearly don’t understand the extent of how messy the divorce proceedings are going to be. 

“Theresa May’s mentality also shows once again that she does not care at all about the north and its people as it would lead to a hard border with disastrous consequences for Ireland. 

“The alternative to this staggering Tory arrogance is for the north to secure designated special status within the EU. That is what Sinn Féin has been pushing for and it is what the Irish government must now work towards in the best interests of all Irish citizens.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has expressed concerns over the welfare of 12 Syrian refugees who were on hunger strike. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“These 12 refugees, who ended their hunger strike last Friday, are being held in the Moria detention camp on Lesbos and despite being found to be genuine refugees, they are facing deportation to Turkey rather than resettlement in Europe. 

“It is shocking that the EU still continues to regard Turkey as a ‘safe country’ despite the undermining of democracy, persecution of the Kurdish population, artillery bombardment, mass detention, claims of shoot-to-kill, collective punishment, military curfews and obstacles to accessing medical aid. 

“Eleven of these people are Syrian Kurds and it is unacceptable that they should be sent to Turkey to face this treatment now they have ended their hunger strike. 

“The EU has a responsibility to address the humanitarian refugee crisis and member states need to co-operate more closely and do what they can to help end this suffering.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the European Union has a key role to play in assisting the transformation to Irish unity. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“There is growing support for Irish unity across Ireland and the prospect of Brexit and a hard border has led many more people to realise that unity makes sense. 

“I welcome the fact that Irish unity is now being discussed like never before both at home in Ireland and across Europe. 

“Reports that the issue of the north automatically joining the EU in the event of a successful unity referendum will be raised at tomorrow’s European Council meeting are welcome. 

“We want to see the entire island of Ireland within the EU and it is clear many others now share that view. 

“Sinn Féin has also put forward a case for the north to secure designated special status within the EU in the event of Brexit.

“Sinn Féin is calling on the Taoiseach and the Irish government to make this case at the European Council meeting.”

Good Friday Agreement should be protected in full – Anderson  

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said it is vital that the Good Friday Agreement is protected in full during the upcoming Brexit negotiations. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“The Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament has established a steering group on this and I am the representative on the body for the GUE/NGL group of 52 MEPs to which Sinn Féin belongs. 

“The group is chaired by Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief negotiator on Brexit and includes representatives of all the major groups in the European Parliament. 

“We have been working to inform the guidelines for the Brexit negotiations which will be adopted at a Special European Council meeting on Saturday. 

“I have been focused, in particular, on making the other members of the steering group aware of the unique position of the north, the fact that the majority of people voted to remain in the EU, and the disastrous impact Brexit would have on the island of Ireland. 

“The European Parliament has already passed a joint resolution which calls for no hardening of the border, recognises the unique situation of the north and, crucially, calls for the protection of the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts. 

“Through the Conference of Presidents steering group I have been building support for the Good Friday Agreement, particularly in the face of the attempts to dismantle and undermine the Agreement by the British government and DUP, as well as garnering support for Sinn Féin’s case for the north to secure designated special status within the EU.

“The European Council now needs to recognise the importance of protecting the Good Friday Agreement.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has called on the EU to review a gas pipeline deal with Israel in light of serious power shortages in Palestine. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“This latest gas pipeline deal, agreed by Cyprus, Greece and Italy will do nothing to address the serious power shortages in Palestine and the suffering of the Palestinian people. 

“Currently schools, hospitals and health services cannot operate properly in Palestine as a result of crippling power shortages brought about by Israeli actions. 

“This is adding to the growing humanitarian problems the Palestinian people face on a daily basis. 

“The international community, and the European Union in particular, have a responsibility to help the Palestinian people. 

“I am calling for this gas pipeline deal to be reviewed in light of the power shortages in Palestine.”