People Before Profit Propose Amendments To Brexit Bill To Rule Out Hard Border And Physical Infrastructure

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Further amendments include extending abortion services to women in the North, recognition of UK driving licences and investment in public enterprise

At a press conference in Dublin today People Before Profit TDs Richard Boyd Barrett, Bríd Smith and Gino Kenny outlined the details and rationale for their parties amendments to the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019 which is being debated in the Dáil this afternoon.

People Before Profit’s amendments are:

  1. Arrangements to protect against a Hard Border and physical infrastructure
  2. Extension of the Termination of Pregnancy Act to the North
  3. Proposed loans to businesses must be contingent on job retention
  4. Investment in public enterprise
  5. Recognition of UK driving licences in Ireland post Brexit

People Before Profit TD for Dún Laoghaire said: “By far the biggest issue facing this country in the event of a no-deal Brexit, is the threat of a hard border and physical infrastructure. Such a development would be a disaster, totally unthinkable and would potentially drag us back to the dark days of division and conflict.

“The government’s comments at times and certain reports are worrying on this point.

“The official commentary from government and the Gardaí is that no provisions are being made to erect a border. But then there are reports today of hundreds of Gardaí being deployed to the border counties.

“We have the Taoiseach making comments at Davos about deploying the army. We have worrying statements from EU leaders about the need to protect the EU Single Market in the event of a no-deal.

“Against that background, concerns are justified and we think this bill needs to provide the assurance and send a clear signal that no Irish government will in anyway facilitate any attempt to erect a hard border, regardless of who or why it is proposed.”

Bríd Smith, People Before Profit TD for Dublin South Central said: “My amendment goes into Health Section of the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Consequential Provisions) Bill 2019, where the government have framed the law so that as much of the medical services that are there now can flow freely backwards and forwards.

“This amendment argues that all the provisions of the Regulation of the Termination of Pregnancy Act, on the commencement of this act, shall apply to all residents and citizens- meaning abortions services shall be available to all women from Northern Ireland free at the point of delivery as it is for women in the South of Ireland.

“Women in the North should not be prohibited from having abortions in the South.

“This is an opportunity to extend solidarity to the women of Northern Ireland, to extend the hand of generosity and say that they are entitled to the same provisions under the Termination of Pregnancy Act as women in the South of Ireland- so that they can access abortion services for free.”

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