Fianna Fáil leader: “Ireland must support Scotland staying or rejoining EU”

Leader of Fianna Fail puts pressure on Irish government to support Scotland in EU

THE LEADER of Ireland’s main opposition party, Fianna Fáil,  has said that the Republic of Ireland (RoI) should do all it can to support Scotland remaining in or rejoining the European Union (EU).

The comments were made during a commemoration service of the Irish revolutionary leader Theobald Wolfe Tone in Bodestown, County Kildare on Sunday (24 October).

Criticizing the way in which the UK Government has interacted with Scotland and Northern Ireland (NI), Micheál Martin stated that RoI had a duty to protect itself and the EU from the “damaging effect of Brexit.”

“Should Scotland demand the right stay in the European Union or to re-join it quickly at some point in the future, Ireland should not be afraid to support it.” Micheál Martin

Martin said: “What will happen with Scotland is unknown. Should Scotland demand the right stay in the European Union or to re-join it quickly at some point in the future, Ireland should not be afraid to support it.

“The approach to the fact that Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain has been at best dismissive. For example, there is no way of reconciling Theresa May’s promise to prioritise Northern Ireland with her failure to put the secretary of state for Northern Ireland on the Brexit committee.

“Ireland will stand by the European Union. We will be true to the great ideal of working together for shared prosperity and peace. We need Europe to stand by us. We need the Union to allow and to support direct aid to stop us from suffering serious damage from Britain’s decision to take its own route.”

“The approach to the fact that Northern Ireland and Scotland voted to remain has been at best dismissive.” Micheál Martin

Fianna Fail has been critical in recent weeks of the RoI Government’s position regarding the effect of Brexit on Irish goods, services and the issue of the border with NI. The former long-term governing party has stated that since the RoI is exposed to the UK in terms of trade relationships the Irish Government should put a strategy in place to shift Ireland’s trading focus to countries remaining in the EU bloc.

However, Martin has agreed with his opposite number, the Taoiseach Enda Kenny that the UK’s vote to leave the EU and the “irresponsibility of UK ministers” has caused uncertainty over the integrity of the peace process, border and both the RoI and NI economies.

In July of this year, Martin called for a referendum to reunify NI and the RoI in the event of a clear majority for remain as it would be the best for “stability, the economy” and to oppose “English driven anti EU politics.”

Today ahead of the joint ministerial committee (JMC), the UK Prime Minister Theresa May offered a “direct line” of communication to the heads of the UK’s devolved governments, stating that any Brexit proposal would be subject to a formal vote by the parliaments or assemblies of all UK governments.

Picture courtesy of Arthur Griffin

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