Any Brexit deal with the European Union “must protect the union” between Northern Ireland and Great Britain, according to British Prime Minister Theresa May.
Writing in the Sunday Times on May 13, she said: “As a proud unionist and prime minister of the whole United Kingdom I am clear that any deal with the EU must protect our precious Union and also honour the agreements that were reached in the historic Northern Irish peace process.”
“This means there can be no hard border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, or between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK,” added May. “We will uphold the Belfast agreement in full- and we will ensure the constitutional and economic integrity of the whole United Kingdom.”
As reported by the Belfast Telegraph Digital, May added that any agreement “must create as little friction as possible” for trade both within the UK and with Ireland.
However, Sinn Fein MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir criticised May’s article. He said: “Today’s piece by Theresa May is devoid of detail and free of facts. Theresa May could have written the same article any time over the last 23 months.”
Ó Muilleoir explained that a solution to the Irish border problem was “clear.”
“The British government must respect the vote of the people of north and provide for the north to remain within the EU single market and customs union,” he said. “It must protect the Good Friday Agreement and retain access for citizens to the European Court of Justice and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Fifty years after the Civil Rights campaign there can be no diminution of rights.”
According to Ó Muilleoir, it is well past time for May to act with the rigorous impartial demanded of her government by the internationally binding Good Friday Agreement than acting in the selfish party political interests of the Tory party and its DUP partners.