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.” 

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson said the DUP’s support for Brexit was bought and paid for by ‘dark money’ but that it will be the people of Ireland who pay.

Martina Anderson was speaking after she and Sinn Féin MEPs Matt Carthy and Liadh Ní Riada along with election candidates Paul Maskey and Mairéad O’Donnell launched a ‘BREXIT: DUP took the money, we all pay the price’ billboard in West Belfast.

Martina Anderson said:

“The DUP signed up to the Leave campaign and accepted a donation of £425,622 from a previously unheard of shadowy group the Constitutional Research Council (CRC). 

 “There is serious public concern that the Leave campaign may have funneled this money through the DUP to circumvent electoral rules in Britain.

“We know that most of the money was used in newspaper advertising, posters and even t-shirts which were distributed in Britain.

“The DUP did not have the capacity to do this and have refused so far to disclose who the donors were behind the CRC. They should disclose these donors immediately and what benefits the DUP received from this funding.

“The DUP destroyed public confidence in the political institutions in the north through its involvement in the RHI scandal, NAMA and Red Sky and allegations of corruption at the heart of politics.

“The DUP took the money for its support for Brexit but it is the people of the North who will pay the price.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the international community needs to act immediately to tackle the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“Despite not being in the headlines, the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean has not gone away. 

“Just this week more than 200 people have died trying to make their way across the Mediterranean, fleeing war and persecution hoping for a better life in Europe. 

“Hundreds more have been rescued from the water by international rescue vessels. 

“There is a responsibility on the international community, and the EU in particular, to act to tackle the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean and act to save lives. 

“This has been going on too long and we need action from the international community to prevent further tragedies.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Tory Brexit agenda would jeopardise the livelihoods of many involved in the business community in the north. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“There is widespread concern across the business community, particularly among those involved in small to medium sized enterprises about the prospect of being dragged out of the EU against our will. 

“The comments from the head of Invest NI when he said said he is excited about Brexit and that it brings possibilities do not reflect of the views of business people I have met from across the north. Such remarks turn a blind eye to the fears and concerns of the business community and echoing the Tory approach to Brexit, which is also backed by the DUP.

“The fact is that the Tory Brexit agenda is bad for business in the north and across the island and the livelihoods of many involved in business would be jeopardised. 

“Claims that leaving the EU would help attract investment to the north don’t stack up when taken alongside remarks from leading figures in the business world here that they are actually looking to leave the north as a result of Brexit. 

“The best way to protect our economy and our business community from Brexit is to secure designated status for the north within the EU.”

 
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has the Irish government needs to demand designated special status for the north within the EU in the upcoming Brexit negotiations. 
 
Speaking at a meeting of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on European Union affairs in Leinster House today alongside MEPs and TDs from across Ireland, Martina Anderson said: 
 
“The British Government has ignored the electorate in the north who voted 56% to remain in the EU.
 
“We have no faith that Tories in London will in any way be negotiating to protect the interests of the people of this island, north or south. 
 
“All of us on this island need to be working together from the other side of the negotiating table, as part of the EU 27,  to ensure our citizens north and south are protected from this disastrous Tory Brexit agenda. 
 
“Sinn Féin has put forward a credible alternative to Brexit with our case for designated special status for the north within the EU. 
 
“The only ways to protect the best interests of all Irish citizens and prevent the negative impact of Brexit are achieving designated special status for the north within the EU and Irish unity. 
 
“It’s time now for the Irish government to adopt the negotiating position, agreed by a majority in the Dáil and with a clear majority in the northern Assembly for Special Designated status for the north within the EU.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson met with the German ambassador to Ireland this morning in Dublin to discuss the need for the north to secure designated special status within the EU. 

Martina Anderson said:   

“Sinn Féin has put forward a credible alternative to Brexit with our case for the north to secure designated special status within the EU. 

“As part of our engagement to build support for the case for designated status we met today with the German ambassador to Ireland, Matthias Hopfner. 

“At the meeting we outlined how disastrous the Tory Brexit agenda would be for the people of Ireland, north and south. 

“It is clear there is support across Europe for the north to achieve designated status within the EU. We now need to see the Irish government demanding special designated status for the north within the EU. 

“Sinn Féin will continue to engage across Europe to build further support for our case for designated status.”

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed the announcement of almost €7.5m in EU funding for the North West Centre for Advanced Manufacturing. 

Martina Anderson said: 

“I welcome the fact that the North West Centre for Advanced Manufacturing has been awarded almost €7.5 million ERDF funding. 

“This will allow the centre to create an all-Ireland super cluster in the north west within the health and life sciences business sector. 

“It will support 15 different research projects in this field. 

“This shows the level of support we receive from the EU to support the growth and development of homegrown business in the north. 

“This support will be lost to us as a result of the Brexit agenda being pursued by the Tories and supported by the DUP. 

“The best way to preserve this funding and the opportunities it creates is for the north to secure designated special status within the EU.”

Sinn Féin MEP has welcomed the introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes and tobacco products. 

Martina Anderson said
 
“The introduction of plain packaging for cigarettes and tobacco products from today is a welcome development. 
 
“It means that advertising and branding on cigarettes will be banned from today in a bid to deter people from taking up smoking. 
 
“This is a result of the Tobacco Products Directive which I spearheaded in the European Parliament as the lead MEP on the report. 
 
“We have far too many deaths from smoking and research has shown that plain packaging will help prevent young people taking up this deadly habit and ultimately save lives. 
 
“This legislation, which comes into effect today, shows the importance of the EU and the impact we can have at the European Parliament.”