Speaking on Brexit and the border issue, Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan TD said today: “'The British Government must provide real guarantees next week to back up their commitment to a friction-less Irish border post Brexit.
“The Irish Government has softened its demands in recent days by concentrating on the need to avoid any 'regulatory divergence' following any settlement, rather than demanding the UK or Northern Ireland must remain within a Customs Union.
“Such an approach reflects the physical reality that we are living together on the one island, without any existing border divisions. The British Government will have to commit to maintaining common environmental, energy, transport and agricultural standards which recognise this physical reality.
“The eventual solution on how international goods and services are traded both North/South within the island and East/West across the Irish sea will only be concluded as part of the Phase 2 of negotiations. However the agreement to have common standards that are island specific has to be given now.
“These negotiations are already being used as an opportunity to entrench the sectarian and party divisions that defines so much of our politics. The DUP will depict any commitment to a Brexit without Borders as a sell-out, while Sinn Fein will depict anything other than a new designated status for the North as a massive climb-down by the Taoiseach.
“We have called for a meeting of all Party leaders in the Dáil early next week to allow us all make a contribution to the talks process. We will be demanding clear wording which guarantees there will be no difference in how we regulate the physical environment on this island. It is time for climate, energy, transport and agriculture standards to move centre stage.”