Brexit extension granted: Warning over hardening of border

L-R Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy, Michelle ONeill, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Mary Lou McDonald and MEP Martina Anderson, during a previous meeting in Brussels.
L-R Sinn Fein MEP Matt Carthy, Michelle ONeill, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier, Mary Lou McDonald and MEP Martina Anderson, during a previous meeting in Brussels.

Chief Brexit Michel Barnier was yesterday told that the EU needs to ensure there is no hardening of the Irish border a head of the EU granting the UK a further extension until Hallowe’en to sort out its position on Brexit.

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the EU needs to ensure the Good Friday Agreement is protected in its entirety, ahead of Barnier meeting with DUP leader Arlene Foster MEP Dianne Dodds and other senior pro-Brexit figures Owen Patterson and Iain Duncan Smith today.

Speaking before the extension was granted by EU leaders on Wednesday night Martina Anderson said: “I met today with the EU’s Chief Brexit Negotiator, Michel Barnier, on the 21st anniversary of the signing of the Good Friday Agreement, to remind him of the absolute need for it to be protected from the Brexit chaos.

“Ahead of the Brexit negotiations, the EU negotiators were mandated to protect the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts and to ensure no hardening of the border on the island of Ireland.

“Now as EU leaders meet to discuss a possible extension to Article 50, it is more important than ever that those positions are maintained.

“As the clock ticks closer to a disastrous crash-out Brexit, I made it clear to Michel Barnier and his team that the north cannot be allowed to become collateral damage to the reckless Tory Brexit agenda.

“The EU has a responsibility to ensure the Good Friday Agreement is protected that there will be no hardening of the border – something that would be totally unacceptable, particularly to those living in border communities.

“The British government has shown its disregard for the Good Friday Agreement and the impact Brexit will have on Ireland.

“Now as we enter into a crucial phase of the Brexit process it is time for the EU and the Irish government to stand up and ensure the Good Friday Agreement is protected and partition is not reinforced by Brexit.”