Source: Sinn Féin
Headline: Adams calls for publication of a White Paper on Brexit and clarity on Customs Posts
17 February, 2017 – by Gerry Adams TD
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD this morning addressed
the Civic Dialogue Conference in Dublin Castle. The Sinn Féin leader was
accompanied by Michelle O’Neill, the party’s leader in the North.
The Sinn Féin leader called on the Irish Government to publish
a White Paper on Brexit outlining its strategic policies and economic, trade
and political objectives.
Gerry Adams said:
“Since we last met in November, the British Prime Minister
Theresa May has published the British Government’s White Paper outlining their
approach to the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. They are now expected to
trigger Article 50 within weeks.
“I agree with the Taoiseach’s assessment that Brexit poses
unprecedented political, economic and diplomatic challenges to peace and
prosperity on our island. However, Mr. Kenny’s rejection of the proposition
that the north be afforded a special designated status within the EU is a grave
mistake. Without such a designation, a hard border is inevitable. I very much welcome
the vote in the Dáil calling on the Government to negotiate for the north to be
designated as having special status within the EU. Tá mé tar éis é sin rá le
“On Wednesday, we learned that officials are involved in
contingency planning for customs posts along the border. Though when I asked
the Taoiseach about this in the Dáil, he said, ‘I hope nobody is looking
for sites along the border’. When Pearse Doherty pressed the Minister for
Finance Michael Noonan on this, Minister Noonan said Revenue was engaged in
“The Taoiseach again yesterday said he ‘didn’t know’ of any
such plans. As a matter of urgency, the Government needs to give clarity on
this issue. The Taoiseach also needs to publish a White paper on Brexit as soon
“Farmers, the fishing industry, the tourism sector, the
building industry, local businesses, and all of those hoping to invest and
create jobs want certainty from our government. So that means the Government
laying out a clear, proactive position to the British Government, to other EU
member states, and to all of the other stakeholders involved, including the
people in this room and throughout the island of Ireland.
“Our Government cannot continue merely reacting to what the
British government have to say, or what they may or may not do, or worst still
repeating the British line with an Irish spin on it.
“It also means we have to fight our corner at every
negotiating table where the implications of Brexit will be thrashed out. That
is what every other member state will be doing. It means forging new
relationships and making new allies within the EU.
“There is also an opportunity and a need to reform the
European institutions; including the strengthening of the role of smaller
member states within it. That has been Sinn Féin’s consistent position. That
must be an objective of our Government.
“The Taoiseach in his Mansion House speech this week on
Brexit referred to the fall of the Berlin Wall. He said it was in this city
that ten countries, mostly from Central and Eastern Europe joined the European
Union in 2004. It ended definitely the border that had divided Europe for
“It would be cruelly ironic if it was here in
Ireland that EU borders and customs posts and division would re-emerge. That a
new European frontier would run from Dundalk to Derry. That must be avoided at