Farry calls for special deal in Verhofstadt talks

An Alliance delegation has asked for support for a special deal for Northern Ireland built around remaining within the single market, party Deputy Leader Stephen Farry MLA has told the European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt MEP.

Dr Farry and David Ford MLA met Mr Verhofstadt at Stormont, with the Alliance delegation stressing the particular circumstances faced by Northern Ireland mean a ‘one-size-fits-all’ Brexit for the UK would not work.

“Put simply, Northern Ireland only works on the basis of sharing and interdependence, while Brexit entails new divisions and barriers. There are just too many special aspects in terms of our economy and politics which must be taken into account,” said Dr Farry.

“We welcome the commitment from the European Parliament to addressing the Irish and Northern Irish questions. While the best outcome would be for the UK as a whole to remain within both the customs union and single market, we today made the case for Northern Ireland alone potentially remaining with the single market.

“This would strongly be in our economic interest. It would entail the Assembly ensuring full compliance with EU law and abiding by the four fundamental freedoms. It is important to stress the EU single market and any UK single market would not be mutually exclusive.

“Such an outcome should be viewed as a devolution max situation, and be entirely consistent with the current constitutional position and the principle of consent.”

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