O Murchú: Brexit – playing poker with a man who doesn’t play by the rules

The Brexit brinkmanship from the British government has been compared to ‘playing poker with a guy who doesn’t keep the rules’, a Dundalk TD has told the Dáil.

Sinn Féin’s Ruairí Ó Murchú was speaking in Leinster House this week ahead of the proposed Internal Markets Bill was put before Westminster, which was described by the North’s Secretary of State Brandon Lewis as ‘a breach of international law in a specific and limited way’.

The Dundalk TD said: ‘It is unacceptable that we could have a British Government that is basically saying that it is OK for them to break international law.

‘It’s like playing poker with a guy who never keeps the rules.

‘We thought that this was the British Government setting a negotiating stance and then we had the news that Jonathan Jones, the head of the British Government legal team resigned in relation to this.

‘We need an answer in terms of what the EU and Irish Government is going to do’.

He said there was huge worry about what the British government intentions are, particularly in Dundalk.

The Louth deputy said: ‘We are worried that if they are willing to circumvent the Irish protocol and the Withdrawal Agreement, that we will have difficulties into the future.

‘People in border areas like Dundalk are very worried about what the future is going to hold, not just from a business point of view, but a societal one.

‘We do not want to see any sort of infrastructure or any sort of checks along the border. It’s utterly unacceptable given the history that we have, particularly in my area. 

Deputy Ó Murchú said he welcomed what Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney had to say about the government’s reaction to the situation.

He said: I welcome what Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney has said about the anger of the government.

I also welcome his comments about the mitigations involved in the Withdrawal Agreement and in relation to the Irish Protocol regarding the single market and customs union,  in terms of business.

‘We do not need to impact on people’s lives and it’s unacceptable, that must be pointed out to the EU.

‘The Irish Government must remain firm. If we have a circumvention of the Irish Protocol and all that can come from that, and if we do not have those protections, it will be utterly unacceptable by the people that there will be any impositions in relation to border checks or infrastructure’.

Brexit Demo As Boris has Breakfast in Dublin

Sinn Féin Louth councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú has attended a demonstration at Leinster House in Dublin this morning to coincide with the meeting of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. 
 
Speaking from the event Cllr Ó Murchú said,
 
“It is clear from the words and actions of Boris Johnson that he simply does not care about how Brexit will impact on the people of this island. 
 
“The fact that it has taken Mr Johnson 6 weeks to meet An Taoiseach is further evidence of the distain with which he has treated the Irish people. 
 
“People have attended here this morning in large numbers to register their fears for the hugely negative consequences of any type of Brexit on this country. 
 
“Border Communities Against Brexit have also attended this demonstration and it is clear that for people living, working and raising families in border areas in particular a hard Brexit would be catastrophic. 
 
“The Taoiseach must make it clear to Boris Johnson that the backstop is absolutely essential and furthermore he must urgently begin planing for Irish reunification.”

Small businesses in Louth must get Brexit ready – Ó Murchú

Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí Ó Murchú attended a Brexit briefing event on Wednesday morning in the Imperial Hotel, Dundalk, hosted by ISME, the Irish Small and Medium Enterprise representative body. 

Councillor Ó Murchú said,

“The Brexit briefing was well attended. I spoke to a number of these business people and I know they found the session useful and informative. 

“InterTradeIreland have reported that only a tiny percentage of businesses are prepared for Brexit. I can understand that owners of small enterprises are often busy juggling many roles within the business and don’t necessarily have the luxury of employing a Brexit co-ordinator  or contracting in specialist assistance.  

“The message from ISME’s Neil McDonnell is that small firms need to examine supply chains two suppliers up, and two customers down and plan accordingly.

“InterTradeIreland’s Denise Marron highlighted to attendees their Brexit voucher scheme, valued at €2,250 which is available to SMEs to purchase specialised expertise. I encourage business owners to follow up on this as it could save them money and add to their Brexit preparedness.

“Businesses should contact the Local Enterprise Office or InterTradeIreland in relation to this or other Brexit aids.  Info relating to these combined with other Brexit preparation resources are easily available on the LEO, InterTradeIreland and Enterprise Ireland’s websites. 

“The event also focused on the customs implications of a no deal Brexit.  

“This scenario looks increasingly likely following Boris Johnson’s dreadful decision to suspend the British parliament for 5 weeks. 

“The advice from Customs Broker, Derek Dunne is that businesses involved in cross border and cross channel imports and exports need to prepare for the customs declaration system they will have to operate. 

“The requirements will be to have a EORI number (European Union registration and identification number) alongside a ROS digital certificate from Revenue. They also need to identify their commodity codes to know the appropriate tariffs applicable to the goods they use. People should use the tariff checker facility on the InterTradeIreland website.

“Irish businesses should not trust in the promises of British politicians regarding the free flow of goods and services across the border after Brexit, particularly after the recent leaks from the British side.

“There is no good Brexit for Irish business but I urge companies to do all they can now to mitigate against the known issues Brexit will present.”

Boris Johnson must respect the Remain Vote – Ó Murchú

Sinn Féin general election candidate for Louth, Cllr Ruairí Ó Murchú, has travelled to Belfast this morning to participate in a demonstration to coincide with the visit of the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Councillor Ó Murchú said;

“I have travelled to Belfast this morning with many others who, like me, want to show their opposition to Brexit and to the attitude of the new British Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“Mr Johnson’s comments that he will abolish the ‘backstop’ and that he is prepared for Britain to withdraw from the EUwith no deal in place will have devastating consequences for the people of this island.

“A report published last month by the British Government indicated 142 areas of co-operation between the 26 counties and the north and between the island of Ireland and Britain.  Brexit jeopardises all of this.

“A report published just two weeks ago by the North’s Department for the Economy predicts 40,000 jobs at risk in the event of a no deal Brexit.  

“Job losses of that magnitude will have a ripple effect right across this country.

“It is absolutely incumbent on the Irish Government, while remaining steadfast in support of the withdrawal agreement and the backstop, to prepare for a hard Brexit and to outline a financial package for vulnerable sectors in the event that this occurs.

“The other imperative for the Irish Government is to prepare for Irish Unity.

“Irish Unity is a realistic and legitimate aspiration and it is now a daily topic of discussion.

“The reunification of Ireland is not only desirable in the event of a hard Brexit, but growing economic opinions state the financial benefits which unity could bring.  

“It is the responsibility of the Irish Government to actively explore this possibility.”

Brexit threatens jobs in Louth

Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has warned that “the election of Boris Johnson as British Prime Minister and the increased likelihood of a no-deal Brexit threatens jobs in Louth and along the border corridor”.

Gerry Adams TD said:

“The election of Boris Johnson, his appointment of a hard-line pro-Brexit Cabinet, and the establishment of a so-called ‘War Cabinet’ has significantly ramped up the potential for a no-deal Brexit. The consequences of this for Louth, for the Good Friday Agreement and for the restoration of the political institutions in the North, are not good.

Equally damaging for jobs and investment is the impact of Brexit on border counties, and especially Louth which straddles the Dublin-Belfast economic corridor.

According to the Government’s contingency action plan update, published at the beginning of July, there are likely to be job losses in this state of between 50,000 to 55,000 in the most exposed sectors. A report published yesterday by the North’s Department for the Economy predicts that up to 40,000 jobs will be at risk from a no-deal Brexit.

In June a confidential British Government study was published by the British Parliament’s Brexit select committee. It identified 142 areas of co-operation, including in the areas of agriculture, health, the environment and transport between this state and the North, and between the island of Ireland and Britain. All of these will be seriously affected by a no-deal Brexit”.

Commenting on  An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s remarks on Unity at the MacGill Summer School last week. Teachta Adams said:

“I welcome the Taoiseach’s belated realisation that a hard Brexit on October 31st, against the wishes of people in the North, which takes away their European citizenship, and undermines the Good Friday Agreement, will increase interest in and support for Irish Unity.

Mr. Varadkar now needs to move beyond expressions of concern and begin the process of planning for Irish unity. Currently he says that producing a White Paper or establishing a Forum on Unity would fuel the accusation that the Irish government is exploiting Brexit. The reality is that it is the responsibility of governments to plan for different eventualities. Irish Unity is clearly now one of these and there is a responsibility on Mr. Varadkar to plan for it.”