In a statement, People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd Barrett has slammed comments by the President of the EU Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, who stated categorically that the EU will insist that border posts be erected between the North and South of Ireland.
Richard Boy Barrett TD said:
“This is a direct betrayal of what he said when he was given a platform to address the Dáil on 21 June 2018.”
During Mr. Juncker’s address of the Dáil he was asked by Deputy Boyd Barrett: ‘Will President Juncker give us a clear commitment that the European Union will not impose a border, customs posts or any other infrastructure of a frontier to protect European borders in the way he is doing to the detriment and loss of life of people in the Mediterranean? That is the question. We do not trust the Tories. Can we trust you?’ to which Mr. Juncker answered ‘Yes’ and received applause from the assembled deputies.
Now just over a year later, he has done an about-turn and stated that the EU will insist on border posts.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD said:
“This is not just an abject betrayal by the EU President – it is as clear an indication of the power relations between Ireland and the EU. The EU has used the Irish border as a negotiating lever against the British. Once it has served its purpose, they drop all support for Irish aspirations to stop a hard border.
“For the past number of years, Fine Gael- and their allies in Fianna Fail – have suggested that the EU are our best allies in resisting a hard border. They have repeatedly – and correctly pointed out – that a hard border in Ireland will endanger the peace of this island.
“So how can they now go along with orders from Brussels?
“The Irish government has started indicating that it will obediently do what it is told – even if it threatens peace.
“Both the EU and the Irish government will claim that they are not to blame for imposing this border – the responsibility lies with Britain.
“But once they erect border posts on the Southern side, this will give the British Tories the excuse to follow suit. It will not matter then who started it – we will have to live with a strengthened form of partition.
“We need clear public pressure to push the Irish government into changing tact.
“They should tell the EU that no Irish state official will co-operate with any effort to impose a border.