‘Government failing to assert Irish interests in EU negotiations on Brexit’

The Irish Government has been slammed by Sinn Fein MEP, Matt Carthy, for failing to assert Irish interests in EU negotiations on Brexit.

Carthy believes the Government needs to aggressively pursue special designated status within the EU for the North and to secure a veto similar to the one achieved by Spain in relation to Gibraltar.

It is clear from the latest leaks that only minor changes to the European Council’s draft guidelines on Brexit, published two weeks ago, are currently on the table, Carthy said.

There’s no indication that Ireland has even been mentioned in the talks. This is very disturbing.

“At the very least, Irish negotiators have not adequately asserted Irish interests in the wording relating to Ireland.

“The council text on the impact of Brexit on Ireland is significantly weaker than the resolution adopted by the European Parliament, reflecting the failure of the Irish Government’s approach,” Carthy said.

The Sinn Fein MEP has described the Governement’s negotiation strategy in relation to Brexit as an ‘abject failure‘.

“Spain has achieved an important veto in relation to Gibraltar but the North of Ireland has not been given similar consideration.

“The Irish Government, and Enda Kenny in particular, must prioritise special designated status within the EU for the North of Ireland, and aggressively pursue this at EU level.

The Government also needs to negotiate a veto that ensures no agreement between the EU and Britain may apply to the North without the agreement of Ireland.

“Brexit poses huge challenges for the island of Ireland, but the Irish Government has not proven itself up to the important task at hand,” he said.

Negotiators are set to meet again on April 24, according to Carthy, a few days before an EU leaders’ summit on April 29 – which is to approve the final text.

“The Taoiseach and the Government must now assert Irish interests and get results that mitigate the potentially disastrous impact of Brexit for Ireland,” Carthy added.