Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein will continue push for Northern Ireland special status: Adams

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams has stated his party will continue to push for special status for Northern Ireland.

He made the comments in response to the agreement reached between the EU and the UK which allows Brexit talks to move onto trade negotiations.

Speaking at an event for the launch of his book Never Give up in west Belfast on Saturday, he said: "Sinn Fein has given a very cautious and qualified welcome to the communique [on Friday] from EU negotiators.

"It is not the conclusion of the process or final deal on Brexit.

"It sets out broad principles and represents some progress but there are many unanswered questions around key issues and the Irish government must remain focused and vigilant.

"The communique does recognise the unique and special circumstances of the north, on the peace process, and the border and that the Good Friday Agreement is fundamental to this deal and to any eventual agreement."

He added that the deal fails to address "some of the key concerns of citizens, particularly those living in the north and in the border region".

These included the insistence that the United Kingdom will leave the single Customs Union and Single Market, and the future role of the European Court of Justice in Northern Ireland.

"Our experience through years of agreements with Britain is that the devil is in the detail," he said.

"Sinn Fein will continue to make the case for special status for the north, we will continue to articulate that our society needs to remain in the customs union and the single market because that is the best way to protect north/south east/west trade, citizens’ rights and ensure no reintroduction of any kind of border."

Writing in Saturday's Belfast Telegraph, Sinn Fein's leader in Northern Ireland Michelle O'Neill said the paper "sets out principles" and it is now a question "around how we turn those principles into reality".

Also writing in the Belfast Telegraph, DUP leader Arlene Foster said Northern Ireland was in a "stronger position today than it was five days ago" and it was clear "there will be no border in the Irish Sea".

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