Sunday 23 October 2016

Ireland should help fast-track Scotland back into EU – Fianna Fáil

Published 27/06/2016 | 13:08

Scotland should be fast-tracked back into the European Union if it votes for independence, Micheál Martin has said.

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The Fianna Fáil leader believes that while the future of Scotland within the UK is a matter for themselves, Ireland should support them in a bid to re-enter the EU if the situation arises.

“I and my party believe that it would be unacceptable for Scotland to be treated as a normal candidate country should it seek to remain as a member of the EU.

“It currently implements all EU laws.  It manifestly would not need to be reviewed for its standards of governance and ability to implement EU laws.

“It has a strong administration, a distinct legal system and an absolute commitment to European ideals,” Mr Martin told an emergency Dáil debate on the outcome of the EU referendum.

“Scotland is strong enough to advocate for itself, but Ireland should be its friend and demand fair play should it seek to remain in the EU.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Picture:Arthur Carron
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin. Picture:Arthur Carron

“As for whether Scotland could effectively veto Brexit, we have to play this straight leaving this to the administrations concerned.  Europe must under no circumstance interfere,” he said.

However, Mr Martin hit out at Sinn Féin’s call for a referendum on a united Ireland.

He said such a vote should only be held when it has a chance of passing and “at the moment there is no evidence of this”.

“If it changes because of forced departure from the EU then it may be the time for such a vote – yet this has not yet been demonstrated.  The North has had enough of the politics of gestures and votes used to assert difference rather than build consensus.

Nicola Sturgeon
Nicola Sturgeon

“The cynicism of Sinn Fein on this is dramatic even for that party,” Mr Martin told the Dáil.

He added that for four decades Provisional Sinn Féin has opposed Europe “in everything”.

“It opposed membership and every referendum.  In the European Parliament it spends its time condemning the EU.  It shares a group with parties opposed to the existence of the EU.

“It even refuses to oppose the Russian invasion and partition of European states but supports resolutions blaming the EU for Russian aggression,” he said.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said the Government and Fianna Fáil should need to take an all-island approach to the negotiations that will lead to a Brexit.

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