Gerry Adams TD speaking at the Dáil today said that the Brexit vote and the change of leadership in Britain presents difficulties and challenges for the Taoiseach.
Teachta Adams said:
“I want to congratulate Theresa May on becoming the leader of the British Conservative Party.
Tomorrow evening, she will succeed David Cameron as British Prime Minister.
This change presents considerable difficulties and challenges for our government, for the relationships within this island, within the North, and between this island and Britain.
Theresa May has expressed her determination to act on the Brexit vote.
She also takes over from David Cameron who has been remiss in fulfilling his obligations under the Good Friday Agreement, under the Stormont House Agreement, and under the Fresh Start agreement.
The Taoiseach and the government needs to have a consistent strategic programme of working with the British government on all of these matters, as well as drawing upon the broad international support we enjoy.
Unfortunately, that focus has not been there as much as it needs to be. So, the upcoming period is going to be particularly difficult and particularly challenging.”
Speaking on the issue of a referendum on Irish Unity Gerry Adams said:
“We want to see a referendum on Irish unity. Had there been no referendum on Brexit we would still want to see that. It is part of the Good Friday Agreement. I am pleased that there is more debate than there has been for some time.
I believe the destination for the people of this island has to be within a united Ireland, however that manifests itself. It is a democratic issue for people. It is the only way to go.”
The Sinn Féin leader added:
“There are two main legs to this. One is the primacy of the Good Friday Agreement and the broad political and peace processes, and the second the social and economic consequences of Brexit.
We need in the first case make sure that the imperative of the Good Friday Agreement prevails, and in the second case to minimise the potential negative consequences of the exit of one part of this island from the European Union while the other part stays.
It is important to understand that Theresa May is against the European Convention on Human Rights and that is a cornerstone of the Good Friday Agreement. Any attempt to tamper with that in the time ahead is bad. The Taoiseach needs to be on his game.”
Asked about the future for Enda Kenny as Taoiseach Gerry Adams said:
“It is entirely a matter for Fine Gael who leads Fine Gael. It is of course our business who leads the government. We have a government without authority. We have a government that does not have a mandate to government except in that which was put together with the indulgence of Fianna Fáil. And of course, Fianna Fáil’s interest is entirely self-interest and party political. A government without authority and distracted by internal issues is not what is needed at this time.”