Alliance Leader Naomi Long MEP gave her first speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg today during a debate on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU saying, “it is much more important to get it right than simply to get it done.”
Mrs Long made clear that “there can be no good or sensible Brexit” and that “a no-deal Brexit would be catastrophic for Northern Ireland.”
She appealed to the European Parliament to “ignore those who say that no deal is no problem.”
Mrs Long’s full speech is as follows:
“I was elected to this Parliament as a cross-community, pro-European voice for the people of Northern Ireland, a majority of whom voted Remain in the EU referendum and for Remain parties in the European elections.
Membership of the EU matters to us: our European citizenship is a shared identity uniting people right across our community.
The Good Friday Agreement was founded on European principles of interdependence and cooperation: they must be protected if the Agreement is to survive.
Yet our government, propped up by the DUP, refuse to hear us. The DUP did not speak for a majority in 1998, when they opposed the Good Friday Agreement: they do not speak for the majority now either on Brexit or the backstop.
There can be no good or sensible Brexit but a no deal Brexit would be catastrophic in NI. Ignore those who say that no deal is no problem: listen instead to those who live and work across that border. They know this matters.
The UK Parliament is now working across party lines to block any no deal Brexit. We need EU leaders and this Parliament to continue to give them the time needed to succeed and we appreciate your support over the last 3 years.
Brexit will affect all our futures for decades to come: it is much more important to get it right than simply to get it done.”