Category Archives: A United Ireland in Peace and Prosperity

Fianna Fál believe in the stable, peaceful and prosperous reunification of Ireland and its people.

Fianna Fáil supports the comprehensive engagement between all Parties and people in the north regarding the economic, social and political conditions necessary to create the correct circumstances under which the reunification of Ireland can be obtained.

Northern Ireland has been “further polarised” by Brexit

TALKS aimed at restoring power-sharing at Stormont have reached a “sensitive” point, the Republic’s foreign affairs minister Simon Coveney has said.

Mr Coveney, who has been involved in the negotiation process along with Secretary of State James Brokenshire, said the DUP and Sinn Féin “want to make the process work” but that they still face “real challenges.”

“There are sensitive discussions happening today. I am somewhat cautious in what I am saying. I don’t think it would be helpful to make a running commentary today,” Mr Coveney told the Seanad in Dublin.

He warned that a “critical phase” for the devolved institutions have been reached.

“Ten months have now passed. It means the people of Northern Ireland are not being served by an elected and accountable devolved government.

“This is not a sustainable position for much longer. This is a most critical point for the devolved institutions and peace process as a whole,” Mr Coveney said.

Fianna Fáil Senator Mark Daly warned that Northern Ireland has been “further polarised” by Brexit.

“The Good Friday Agreement has been held hostage. Unfortunately the future for Northern Ireland is neither clear nor bright,” he said.

The Stormont government collapsed in January following the resignation of the late Martin McGuinness as deputy first minister in a row over the DUP’s handling of a botched renewable heat energy scheme.

Months of talks aimed at restoring power-sharing have so far failed, with Sinn Féin and the DUP unable to reach agreement on a number of key areas, including an Irish language act and legacy issues .

http://www.irishnews.com/news/republicofirelandnews/2017/10/12/news/talks-have-reached-a-sensitive-point-says-coveney-1160018/

 

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Powersharing talks in Northern Ireland at a ‘sensitive point’

Talks aimed at restoring powersharing in the North have reached a “sensitive” point, the Foreign Affairs Minister has revealed.

Simon Coveney, who has been involved in the negotiation process along with Northern Secretary of State James Brokenshire, said the DUP and Sinn Fein “want to make the process work” but that they still face “real challenges.”

“There are sensitive discussions happening today. I am somewhat cautious in what I am saying. I don’t think it would be helpful to make a running commentary today,” Mr Coveney told the Seanad.

He warned that a “critical phase” for the devolved institutions have been reached.

“Ten months have now passed. It means the people of Northern Ireland are not being served by an elected and accountable devolved government.

“This is not a sustainable position for much longer. This is a most critical point for the devolved institutions and peace process as a whole,” added Mr Coveney.

Fianna Fail Senator Mark Daly warned that Northern Ireland has been “further polarised” by Brexit.

“The Good Friday Agreement has been held hostage. Unfortunately the future for Northern Ireland is neither clear nor bright,” he said.

The Stormont government collapsed in January following the resignation of the late Martin McGuinness as deputy First Minister in a row over the DUP’s handling of a botched renewable heat energy scheme.

Months of talks aimed at restoring powersharing have so far failed, with Sinn Fein and the DUP unable to reach agreement on a number of key areas, including an Irish Language Act and legacy issues .

On Wednesday Sinn Fein also raised concern over allegations made in a BBC Spotlight programme about Stormont speaker, DUP MLA Robin Newton.

The investigation revealed that Mr Newton has had a role with a UDA-linked community organisation – Charter NI – that he has not declared.

Mr Newton has rejected claims he misled the Northern Ireland Assembly about the true nature of his role with the organisation.

But Sinn Fein chief whip Caral Ni Chuilin called for Mr Newton to resign immediately.

“His position as speaker is untenable and he needs to resign with immediate effect, given the serious concerns. The public demand integrity in government,” she said.

Asked whether the allegations would impede the negotiations between Sinn Fein and the DUP over powersharing, Ms Ni Chuilin said: “I don’t think anyone can ignore the serious concerns that were raised last night in the Spotlight programme.

“I don’t think anybody can ignore that. We have been consistent in saying that there needs to be integrity and understanding.”

http://www.irishmirror.ie/news/irish-news/politics/powersharing-talks-northern-ireland-sensitive-11326835

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Brexit deadlock over Irish border ‘could lead to break-up of the union’

The stalemate in the Brexit negotiations over the Irish border is likely to trigger a referendum which could lead to Northern Ireland’s departure from the UK, an Irish senator has warned.

Mark Daly, the author of a parliamentary report on the impact of Brexit, said the lack of progress was stirring public support for a referendum on a united Ireland that would in practice be a vote on whether to avoid a “hard border” by joining the EU.

And he claimed that fears about the impact of Brexit on border communities were so intense that even Northern Irish unionists – who strongly support staying in the UK – would opt for reunification.

“In my discussions with both sides over the last few months they all believe there will be a referendum on a united Ireland,” Mr Daly told the Telegraph.

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Express – “UK goods will have a Irish back door into Europe irrespective of Brexit outcome – senator”

BRITISH firms will have an unofficial back door into Europe irrespective of the Brexit talks if Government proposals go ahead, it was claimed today.

By Darren Hunt, Express: http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/841717/Brexit-news-Northern-Ireland-border-customs-union-BBC-latest-video-Republic-of-Ireland

Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly said the border between the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland would effectively promote a “smugglers charter” as UK firms realised they had a soft entry to EU markets.

The Irish politician said the report released by the Government over the customs union would transform the Irish border to a “back door into Europe”.

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Daly claimed the Republic and north already had an issue with smuggling and the British Government’s plans would increase problems.

The Irish politician said the report released by the Government over the customs union would transform the Irish border to a “back door into Europe”.

Speaking to Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Daly claimed the Republic and north already had an issue with smuggling and the British Government’s plans would increase problems.

He said: “Ireland wants to have the best deal on Brexit for Britain and it is vital for the peace process that there is no reimposition of border posts or border checks on this island.

Mr Daly continued with his explanation of why the Irish border would be transformed into a “smugglers charter” from people acting dishonestly.

He added: “But what you are not talking about is the people who are going to be dishonest.

“If there are trade differentials between the UK and other non-European partners, our border would be a back door into Europe.

“So people would import goods that are cheaper under tariff arrangements with the UK and then bring them into the Republic and into the EU.

“Of course the UK want to advantage economically over the EU and will do preferential trade agreements with non-EU countries and that becomes a smugglers charter on this island

“We already have a smuggling problem while both jurisdictions are within the EU.”

On Tuesday the Department for Exiting the European Union released a report explaining how the UK would push for a customs partnership with the EU after Britain has exited from the bloc.

The proposals set out would see Britain and the EU enforcing each other’s customs rules so there would be no need for a new physical border post-Brexit.

Mr Verhofstadt took to Twitter to remind the UK it should instead focus on citizen rights and the Brexit divorce bill as a priority in its exit proceedings.

He tweeted: “To be in & out of the Customs Union & ‘invisible borders’ is a fantasy. First need to secure citizens rights & a financial settlement.”

Responding to the paper released by the UK Government, Mr Daley tweeted: “A smugglers charter on this island being proposed by the brexiteers. ‘Cake & Eat it’ policy moves to ‘Pie in the Sky’.

 

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Reuters – “Britain seeks Brexit without borders for Northern Ireland”

By William James and Conor Humphries, Reuters: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-ireland-idUSKCN1AV2KX

Some 30,000 people cross the 500-km (300-mile) border every day without customs or immigration controls; negotiators must work out new arrangements without inflaming tensions in a region that suffered decades of bloody turmoil before a peace deal in 1998.

As part of a series of papers that Prime Minister Theresa May hopes will push forward talks with the EU, the government on Tuesday outlined its vision for a “frictionless” customs system, which one EU politician described as ‘fantasy’.

Wednesday’s publication drew heavily on those proposals as a solution for Northern Ireland that would not involve “physical border infrastructure and border posts”, or electronic surveillance. Reaching agreement with the EU on this was top of Britain’s list of Brexit priorities, the government said.

The aim is “to find a practical solution that recognizes the unique economic, social and cultural context of the land border with Ireland, without creating any new obstacles to trade within the UK,” Northern Ireland minister James Brokenshire said.

May also said Britain would consider stepping in to replace some EU funding for peace projects in Northern Ireland after it leaves the bloc in March 2019, to prevent a resurgence of violence between pro-British Protestants and Catholic Irish nationalists.

Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney welcomed the proposals, saying Britain had acknowledged for the first time that it would not be practical to depend on technological solutions to monitor the border.

“Of course what we don’t have, though, is the detail as to how it’s going to work,” he said.

But Senator Mark Daly, deputy leader of Ireland’s opposition Fianna Fáil party, said the proposals for a frictionless border appeared “more like fiction, and clueless on this island”.

“It will be a smugglers’ charter,” he told BBC Radio Four.

Northern Ireland sold 2.7 billion pounds ($3.5 billion) of goods into Ireland in 2015, according to official figures, and many businesses have complex supply chains that involve crossing the border multiple times during the production process.

The Sinn Fein party, which wants a referendum on ending British rule in Northern Ireland and uniting the island under the Irish flag, said it doubted an open border could be delivered.

“They have not put anything concrete on the table . ….we are a fleeting concern to the British government, collateral damage in the Brexit negotiations,” said Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Fein’s leader in Northern Ireland.

Britain said it wanted to maintain the Common Travel Area (CTA), a pact that allows free movement between the United Kingdom and Ireland for British and Irish citizens, with no need for passport controls and “no question of new immigration checks operating between Northern Ireland and Ireland”.

That would mean EU citizens wishing to enter Britain could do so by traveling legitimately to Ireland and crossing the border unchecked – something that is likely to antagonize the many Britons for whom controlling immigration was a key reason for backing Brexit.

“If you don’t have any of these checks between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – the UK-EU border – and you don’t have any between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, well then, where do you check immigration?” Conor McGinn, a spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, told Sky News.

“It seems to me that the government has handed back control of its border to the EU.”

The government said control over migration from the EU into Britain could be exercised by restrictions on access to the British social security system and labor market. Further details would be set out in a future document on immigration.

Britain also wants to introduce new ‘trusted trader’ arrangements to help larger companies and make smaller firms exempt from customs processes.

It rejected the idea of an effective customs border in the Irish Sea that separates England, Wales and Scotland from Ireland and Northern Ireland as “not constitutionally or economically viable”.

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