Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

GFA joint committee in ‘historic’ Dáil sitting

A joint sitting of the Good Friday Implementation Committee in Dáil Éireann on Thursday was of ‘historic significance’, Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady has said.

Members joined other committees for European Union Affairs, and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Defence in Dublin during a visit by the EU Parliament’s Brexit co-ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt.

Mr Brady says the meeting was an important engagement, adding that is essential that “all EU officials are continuously briefed and informed on what Ireland needs from the Brexit negotiations”.

“These needs must be a priority given Ireland’s unique position,” Mr Brady said.

“The joint committee meeting indicates the strength of the all-Ireland campaign against Brexit and the imposition of an EU frontier on this island.”

Expressing disappointment at being denied speaking rights at the hearing, he added: “The decision to deny speaking rights to Irish MPs flies in the face of the need for an all-Ireland approach to Brexit.  Our team stressed Sinn Féin’s position that it is an absolute imperative that the North is given Designated Special Status within the European Union.  This is crucial in order to defend the political, social and economic interests of all Ireland and to protect the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts.” 

The Sinn Fein MP pledged his party’s continued representation in Dublin, Belfast and Brussels, to highlight the impact of Brexit on Ireland.