Dáil debates

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Ceisteanna - Questions

Taoiseach's Meetings and Engagements

4:40 pm

Photo of Dessie EllisDessie Ellis (Dublin North West, Sinn Fein) | Oireachtas source

This afternoon the British Prime Minister is due to update the Westminster Parliament on the state of Brexit talks. She is supposedly going to tell MPs to hold tough. It is vital that the Taoiseach stands firm in the face of this last-ditch attempt by the British Government to renegotiate the backstop. It is our only insurance policy to prevent a hard border on this island and it is supported by the majority of citizens, businesses and other key sectors across the entire island. Any retreat would jeopardise Irish interests, the peace process and the Good Friday Agreement. With the exception of the unionist parties, there is political consensus North and South on the need to protect the backstop. The actions of the British Government in seeking to ditch it are not only an act of bad faith but have made the prospect of a no-deal situation much more likely. In the event a no-deal situation transpires, the Government must immediately begin preparing for a referendum on Irish unity. A unity referendum is consistent with the Good Friday Agreement and, if passed, would see the entire island retain membership of the European Union. It is a common sense alternative to a no-deal scenario. People voted to remain in the EU.


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