Sinn Fein MEP MARTINA ANDERSON, who launched a new report at the weekend on the impact of Brexit on human rights, says the British won't get to have their cake and eat it.

So we are told that Brexit means Brexit but what does that mean?

For the north of Ireland it means a disaster undefined being negotiated by the unprepared who are seeking an unspecified outcome.

But one thing is certain: it will be bad for Ireland.

It will be disastrous for the economy, for communities, and has the potential to undermine the Good Friday Agreement and damage our peace process.

It will also have a hugely negative impact on our rights.

This week I launched an independent legal report, commissioned by GUE/NGL and authored by Doughty Street Chambers in London on the imapct of Brexit on human rights.

The report clearly states that Brexit will undermine our human rights and that in order to protect the Good Friday Agreement, as both the British government and the EU have pledged, then a special solution for the north is required.

When the British governemnt triggered Article 50 it was obvious that they hadn’t a clue what to do next and now, months later, despite a round of keynote speeches, they appear no further forward.

While the British government's Brexit strategy is still up in the air, one certainty is the Good Friday Agreement. It’s an international document lodged at the UN and it was prepared through months of painstaking negotiations by people determined to build a better society for all.

In order to right the wrongs of the past, the British government agreed to bring forward the Human Rights Act, the act that would give us a passport to the European Convention of Human Rights and pledged that would be the floor upon which a Bill of Rights for the North would be built.  This would not be a British Bill of Rights but one that would take in the particularly circumstances of the North.    Almost 20 years on we still await the implementation of that commitment.

What we all got along the way was the Charter of Fundamental Rights.  A document which brought together all the different EU rights that we established at different times, in different forms into one single document with rights being harmonised upwards.

The Tories however have stated that its an unnecessary protection and  one that is not required because the rights are covered elsewhere. That is nonsense.

In December last year Theresa May agreed with the EU a joint report in which she made a number of commitments.

In those commitments she and her government agreed to 3 Options:  Options A - there would be a deal - which is the preferred option but which the BG has not negotiated;  Option B  - failing to secure a deal, the British government will bring forward specific proposals that would prevent a hardening of the border in Ireland; and  Option C – in the absence of any deal a backstop option would be in the Withdrawal Agreement to protect the Good Friday Agreement and avoid a border in partitioned Ireland.

The backstop would also allow the North to remain in the Customs Union.

Since then, however, the British government have been trying to negotiate downwards, as they always do.

But they are negotiating with big players now and they won't get to have their cake and eat it.

Next Wednesday, the European Parliament resolution will go further to protect the rights of citizens in Ireland and here.  Regarding Ireland it will state that no diminution of rights specifically referencing social and  democratic rights as set out in the Good FridayAgreement.

England needs to remember that people in north of Ireland are afforded the right to be Irish, British or both.  So we are EU citizens, and the European Parliament will not tolerate second class EU citizenship.

For our part, the only way that we can prevent a denial of our rights and to advance the difficult process of peace building is through designated special status for the North to remain within the EU.

Failing that - we need here to understand that 56% people of the north in a cross community vote, voted to remain within the EU and based on the principle of consent in the Good Friday Agreement, there is now increasing demonstrable change in the north that a referendum on Irish unity should be triggered.

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