Week in Review 23-30 September 2016

Sinn Fein
The Week in Review
23 – 30 September 2016

‘Brexit talks could fail’ says Martin McGuinness MLAMcGuinnessMLA
The British Government’s attempt to negotiate its way out of the European Union could fail, Sinn Féin MLA Martin McGuinness has told the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool.
Speaking at the annual Ulster Fry Breakfast event, the Deputy First Minister said there was no guarantee the Brexit negotiations would succeed.
He commented: “Whatever happens it is clear the British Government face a very tough negotiation with the other EU member states as they seek to agree terms for their exit from the union.
“There is no guarantee those negotiations will succeed. In fact, given the complexity of the issues involved and the opposition of the other EU nations, I believe they will not produce a good outcome because there is no good outcome to Brexit. That is why the people of the north voted to stay in Europe and that is the mandate I will take into the negotiations.”
Mr McGuinness also repeated his call for the Irish Government to establish an all-island Forum on Brexit as a matter or urgency.
He said: “That forum should not be about managing or minimising the negative effects of Brexit on the island of Ireland. Because there is no way to manage or minimise the negative impact of Brexit.
“The forum should be established to examine the implications of the British referendum and, critically, all options for defending the interests of Ireland and the Irish people by ensuring that the north remains part of the EU alongside the rest of Ireland.”

Sinn Féin Fringe Meeting “BREXIT: The Cost of Ireland’s Partition” at British Labour Party Conference 2016LabConf16
On Sunday 25th September Sinn Féin hosted “BREXIT: The Cost of Ireland’s Partition” at the Labour Party Conference in Liverpool. The meeting was addressed by Mary Lou McDonald TD, Sinn Fein Vice President; Dave Anderson MP, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State; Simon Dubbins, Unite the Union’s Director of International & Research; and was chaired by, Sinn Féin MP, Mickey Brady. The evening saw fantastic engagement from the floor and an informative Q&A session.

GFA Committee discusses implications of ‘Brexit’ on Belfast Agreement – Kathleen Funchion TDFunchionMLA
Speaking on Tuesday, Sinn Féin’s Kathleen Funchion TD, Chair of the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement said:
“As the Dáil resumes, Brexit remains a headline issue. Today is the first meeting of Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement. We will discuss the implications for the Good Friday Agreement arising from Brexit with Minister Charlie Flanagan.”
Ms Funchion continued, “The repercussions of the Brexit vote continue to be felt right across Europe. It has the potential to fundamentally change relationships on our islands and impact on the Good Friday Agreement.
“The fiscal implications of Brexit for the North will be the focus of the second half of the meeting. Máirtín Ó Muilleoir MLA, Minister for Finance at Stormont, will brief us on how Brexit could affect the North’s economy, including trade, tourism and cross-border workers. Urgency is key right now. We need to address any potential ramifications immediately.”

Declan Kearney MLA calls for the international community to support Irish unityKearneyMLA
Sinn Féin National Chairperson and MLA Declan Kearney has called on the international community to support and encourage Irish unity.
Speaking at a conference in Paris organised by the French Communist Party alongside Raymond McCartney MLA, Mr Kearney said; “Brexit has once more brought into sharp focus the contradiction of partition at the heart of Irish politics. This directly challenges democracy and Irish national interests.However, it has also created an equally unprecedented political and civic discussion in Ireland about the future.”
Mr Kearney stated: “We believe that these new challenges need to be converted into a positive, national conversation about how the constitutional, political and economic future of the island can be reimagined and redesigned.”
Turning to the Irish Government, Mr Kearney called for the urgent convening of an All-Ireland forum to discuss the implications of Brexit for Ireland, North and South.
Mr Kearney concluded, “The peace process was facilitated and supported by international good will, support and diplomacy and the international community still has an essential role to play. A new phase of political change has arrived and the significant strategic political influence of the international community should now assist with planning for the transition towards a new agreed, united Ireland. It is time to end the division of Ireland and prepare the transition to Irish unity. A positive, international axis to encourage, persuade for, and support that aim is now required.”

Women’s health and welfare needs to be prioritised – Caitríona Ruane MLARuaneMLA
Caitríona Ruane MLA has said alternative legislation that prioritises women’s welfare, health and wellbeing is needed across the island.
Speaking after attending the ‘Rise and Repeal’ Rally on Saturday Ms Ruane said: “Tens of thousands of men and women from all over Ireland attended the ‘Rise and Repeal’ Rally in Dublin yesterday. It is clear that the Irish Government cannot ignore this issue any longer, the groundswell of support for the repeal of the 8th amendment and the actions of the public indicate that they want a say on this issue.”
Ms Ruane said that: “Sinn Féin has been consistent in the view that the 8th amendment needs to be repealed in order to protect women and to allow for terminations in cases of sexual crime and fatal foetal abnormalities.” She continued, “Sinn Féin does not support abortion on demand and remain opposed to the extension of the 1967 Act to the North. Sinn Féin would support legislation which would make provision for abortion services in instances of pregnancies arising from sexual crime along with situations in which a pregnancy has been determined to have a fatal foetal abnormality. We have been resolute in our support for women’s rights and will continue to work as stakeholders to create an alternative that prioritises a woman’s welfare, a woman’s health and a woman’s wellbeing across the island.”

Gerry Adams congratulates Jeremy CorbynAdamsTD
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has extended his “warmest congratulations to Jeremy Corbyn on his re-election today as leader of the British Labour Party”.
The Sinn Féin leader said:
“Jeremy has been a stalwart friend to Ireland and of the Irish peace process for decades. In that time I have come to know him well. I want to extend my warmest congratulations to Jeremy on his resounding win. He faces many challenges in the time ahead in confronting the right wing agenda of the Conservative government, not least in addressing the issue of Brexit. I wish him well and look forward to working with him in the time ahead to ensure that the gains of the peace process are built upon.”

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