Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called on the government to exert more influence on the Brexit negotiations. He stated;
“Ireland is the most exposed country in the EU to Brexit. We are 4 times more exposed than the EU average. Given this it is shocking that we hear the Taoiseach is sending texts to Boris Johnson on such as pivotal decision-making day. Our leaders and representatives have been reporting from the negotiation process practically as observers, one step removed from the decisions. This hands off behaviour is causing massive frustration among many workers and businesses”.
“I understand 100% that the EU negotiate as a 27-member team. I also accept that by in large in these negotiations the EU has pushed Irish interests during these negotiations. However, there are 27 separate national objectives at play. Not all of these are aligned to our needs. 10 years ago the EU forced Ireland, against our National Interest to bail out the banks to the tune of tens of billions of euro. We would be naïve to think that Irish interests and EU 27 interests are exactly the same”.
“On Tuesday there is a motion before the Dáil on the Proposed Ratification of CETA. It has been provisionally applied until ratification thus removing 98% of the pre-existing tariffs between the two blocks since 2017. Brexit is like CETA except in reverse. There is regulatory alignment already. As Brexit cliff nears, in a similar fashion, does it not make sense to facilitate a provisional Free Trade Agreement, to be reviewed in 3 years to see if Britain deviates from Level Playing Field. If they do then the FTA could be brought to an end. This would allow the negotiations to continue, possibly build up trust, see possibly a different government Britain and protect our economy and jobs from the immediate impact”.
“Ireland is at a precipice of catastrophic magnitude. On one side we have a Tory government that is impossible to trust. On the other have hawks and doves in the EU that will pursue their own national interests. Out government must do all it can to protect the hundreds of thousands of jobs and livelihoods that hang in the balance. That means exerting more influence than to date.