21 October 2016 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Free Movement of Traffic and Goods Should Continue ….But Sinn Féin say Theresa May on a ‘Titanic Course to Catastrophe’

Michael Fisher

Theresa May’s latest comments about the effect on the border of a planned British withdrawal from the European Union have received a mixed response from local politicians. The British Prime Minister has re-iterated she wants to see the free movement of traffic and goods continued and the Common Travel area between Ireland and the UK maintained.

  Minister Heather Humphreys said it was positive that in her response Prime Minister May was recognising the particular challenges that existed in relation to Brexit. Fianna Fáil however expressed concern about what Deputy Brendan Smith said was the lack of detail in the Prime Minister’s comments, which came in a letter last Friday to the North’s First Minister and deputy First Minister, Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness. According to Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, Mrs May remains on a “Titanic course to catastrophe”.

  The British Prime Minister was responding to a communication in August from Northern Ireland’s First and deputy First Ministers in which they sought assurances over the impact of Brexit. Their joint letter to the Prime Minister warned that there could be serious consequences for Northern Ireland by leaving the EU.

  Political rivals criticised the DUP leader Mrs Foster, who is pro-Brexit, after the publication of the letter to the Prime Minister, in which she and Mr McGuinness, a ‘Remain’ advocate, highlighted a series of risks to the North. Mrs Foster later denied a suggestion that she had had a change of heart.

  In separate but similar letters from 10 Downing Street, Mrs May highlighted a number of areas for engagement including the future of the border, treatment of the agrifood industry, EU structural funds, and the single electricity market (which would include the planned North/South electricity interconnector). 
  She said: “I am committed to full engagement with the Northern Ireland Executive on the UK’s exit from the EU and will take full account of the specific interests of the people of Northern Ireland in order to get the best possible deal for all parts of our United Kingdom as we leave the EU.”

  Mrs May said she agreed with Arlene Foster and Martin McGuinness that the future of the border was “of the highest priority for Northern Ireland” and “an important priority for the UK as a whole”. She continued: “The UK Government, the Northern Ireland Executive and the Irish Government have all been clear that we wish to see the continuance of the free movement of people and …
Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May delivers her keynote address on the second day of the Conservative party annual conference in Manchester

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