Diane Dodds MEP Non-attached Member of the European Parliament
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Future cross-border relations will be test of Brexit success: Dodds
17-01-18

Responding to a speech by the Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on the future of Europe, DUP MEP Diane Dodds said:

“The Irish Taoiseach outlined his vision for the future of the EU. Of course, it is a future with the United Kingdom outside the EU institutions but an important partner in trade, security, research and many other areas. As in the relationship between Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland that future should be characterised by close links, shared values and cooperation.

The outcome of Brexit on the ties between our two countries will serve as a wider test of the credentials of any deal reached between the UK and the EU. The Taoiseach rightly stressed that there should be no hard border between Northern Ireland and the ROI. We agree.

It is not in the Irish Republic’s interest to see Northern Ireland suffer. That would be the case if barriers were erected within the UK internal market - disrupting almost 60% of NI sales that go to GB. The union that matters most to Northern Ireland both constitutionally and economically is the United Kingdom.

In focusing on the border Mr Varadkar must not forget the pre-existing relationship East and West that is of vital importance to both of our countries.

2018 will be a pivotal year for relationships between the EU and UK and between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. I hope that we can continue to build that positive future which is vital for peace, security and economic prosperity.”

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