Belfast Telegraph

UK government 'still totally unprepared for Brexit' says Sinn Fein MP Hazzard

Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has said the onus is on the British government to bring forward credible proposals on Brexit in order to safeguard trade and rights in the north.

Speaking after the publication of a Westminster Select Committee report on the impact of Brexit, the South Down MP said that time was running out to reach an agreement.

"This Westminster select committee is now echoing the concerns of many and what we have been saying all along that the British government is still totally unprepared for Brexit and has not put forward any credible or workable proposals to date," he said.

"That is the message we have been hearing in our engagements with MPs from a range of parties.

"The clock is ticking and it seems that some MPs and members of the British government and their allies are only now starting to realise that."

Mr Hazzard said the solution to the Brexit issue for Northern Ireland was clear.

"They also now need to realise that there is a solution in place in the 'backstop' option contained in the draft Withdrawal Treaty which would see the north remain in the customs union and elements of the single market," he said.

"The British government accepted and agreed to that position in December and it is now up to them to bring forward any further proposals to the EU 27.

"It is essential that we avoid an EU frontier on the island of Ireland in order to protect trade, our rights and the Good Friday Agreement and the best way to do that is through securing special status for the north within the EU."

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