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’.