Sunday, 22nd October 2017
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David Cullinane, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Brexit, has welcomed the expression of support from the Canada-Ireland Inter-parliamentary Group for designated special status for the north.

Speaking after a meeting in Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, Deputy Cullinane said:

"Today I met with Canadian MPs at the national parliament in Ottowa to brief them on Brexit's impact on Ireland and the peace process.

"It included over a dozen members of the Canada Ireland Inter-Parliamentary Group present, including its chair James Maloney MP.

"I gave them an overview of the unique challenges facing the island of Ireland in relation to Brexit.

"There was big support in the room for designated special status for the north and the protection of the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts.

"The Irish embassy was also represented at the meeting.

"I also had the privilege of meeting with the President of the Canadian Labour Congress, Hassan Yussuff.

"I explained that with regard to the north, border checks of any kind on the island, be they of goods, services, or passports must not be countenanced in any way.

"The way forward is clear. All parties agree on the unique circumstances of Ireland and all parties state they are committed to protecting the Good Friday Agreement in all its parts.

"In defence of the economies of this island, the Irish government should insist on special designated status for the North as a way of keeping the island of Ireland within the Single Market and Customs Union.

"It should also insist, as one way of defending the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement, that the Good Friday Agreement will be included as a Protocol in the withdrawal treaty.

"This would provide legal protection for the agreement following Brexit. The rights of all EU citizens in the north must be protected.

"The Taoiseach should be prepared to use the government veto on moving on to trade talks unless the British government brings forward detailed plans to protect the agreements and ensure that there is no EU frontier across Ireland."

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