Unions call for 'calm negotiations' following launch of draft EU text

1 Mar 2018

Owen - UCU Rally (2)

Speaking after the launch of the EU's draft legal text today, Owen Reidy ICTU Assistant General Secretary stated:

"Cool heads need to prevail with the release of this text today. It must be remembered we are middle of  a process not at the end of one.

"It must also be remembered that there are two sides to such a negotiation and it is time the UK Government in the interest of all people across the UK start to negotiate in a logical and reasoned fashion. 

"Today's text deals with the back-stop solution which, for everyone concerned, is not the ideal solution. The ideal solution is that the EU and the UK negotiate a deal which avoids a hardening of the border on the island of Ireland, also avoids any border within the U.K. and avoids any border between these islands. Whilst the two governments do have different interests as do the parties here in Northern Ireland, they have all stated that they want to avoid the 3 borders scenarios referenced above. To do this we need a softer Brexit. One that maintains a Customs Union for all of the UK with the EU.

"The UK government needs to start listening to the voices of the trade unions and industry and others with the experience of the benefits of calm negotiation. Indeed, here in Northern Ireland there is already a broad consensus on this matter (the maintenance of a customs union) between the CBI, ourselves in the ICTU, NICVA and the UFU.

"The time for shrill and hysteria is over, it is now time for serious reasoned bargaining and negotiation."