Press Release

Brexit impasse puts workers in Ireland at risk

Date Released: 10 December 2018

The decision by Theresa May to postpone today’s planned vote on the Brexit deal negotiated between London and Brussels puts workers in Ireland at risk regarding the potential effect on jobs and workers’ rights according to SIPTU, Deputy General Secretary, Gerry McCormack.

Gerry McCormack said: “One of the main sticking points was the so-called ‘Backstop’, designed to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.  This must not be sacrificed to ease the passage of Brexit as this would be detrimental to workers, North and South. Everything must be done to prevent the UK crashing out with No Deal which would leave thousands of jobs in Ireland, in the agri-food and other sectors, exposed.  The longer this drags out the more Irish workers are subject to uncertainty and the more cautious businesses will become about investment and spending.  Irish workers are contributing to productivity and performance gains across the Irish economy and they should be rewarded accordingly, without the shadow of Brexit hanging over them.  SIPTU calls on trade unions, business groups and other affected parties to unite in calling for the UK establishment to swiftly devise a clear roadmap to bring about a solution to the Brexit impasse”.

SIPTU Policy Researcher, Loraine Mulligan says: “There is no clear path to uniting the disparate views in the British House of Parliament through a re-worked deal.  The new deadline is the 21stJanuary for Theresa May to put a Brexit deal to the House of Commons.  It is one thing to provide ‘reassurances’ from Brussels on the ‘Backstop’ but the EU must stand firm in recognising the specific situation of Northern Ireland.  The Government must continue to ensure that the EU retains its commitment to the ‘Backstop’.”


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