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Government continuing in denial on Northern Ireland's special circumstances - Farry

February 2, 2017 6:11 PM

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Alliance Deputy Leader Stephen Farry says the White Paper on Brexit fails to recognise the special circumstances of Northern Ireland.

Stephen Farry said: "This White Paper compounds the growing frustration across large aspects of Northern Ireland society at a UK Government that is failing to understand the particular challenges posed by Brexit to Northern Ireland.

"Continued platitudes or the downplaying of problems are not getting us any closer to resolving the problems and are not serving anyone's interests.

"While Brexit will be bad for the UK as whole, it will be particularly damaging to Northern Ireland. Yet, Northern Ireland gets scant attention in this document. There are many problems and issues that are particular to Northern Ireland, including the land border with the continuing EU, an integrated all-island economy and the right of people here to access an Irish passport and therefore European citizenship.

"A one-size-fits-all Brexit simply doesn't work. Northern Ireland is already a special case, and this has been informally recognised by many voices across the EU. In reality the choice is not between full Brexit and special status, but between special status or the emergence of major anomalies that if left unaddressed, would amount to an almighty mess.

"It is vital that that the UK Government comes to this realisation as soon as possible."

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