Brexit 'disastrous' for Irish island

Outgoing Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams says hard border in Ireland will 'stump' business people in island of Ireland

By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal

LONDON (AA) - Brexit is “disastrous” for Irish people as the U.K. government is “not clear at all about the future relationship with the EU”, according to outgoing Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams Sunday.

Speaking to BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, he said the British government is arguing that “they are going to leave the customs union and […] the single market.”

“That will end up a complete disaster for people here in the island of Ireland,” Adams said.

Describing the negotiations to move into the second phase of Brexit as a "fudge", he said they were "filled with contradictions".

Adams underlined his hopes of a special designated status for Northern Ireland within the EU, saying it is "doable".

The Sinn Fein leader said “tons of business people are totally dependent on the flow, back-and-forth business and commerce across what is an invisible border.”

He warned a hard border would “stump” them.

Adams said a hard border between Ireland and Northern Ireland with checkpoints and posts are a scene from the past and “nobody would like to see that” as people are now “used to peace”.

He also said in the interview recorded last week that he still believes a deal would be reached during political talks in Northern Ireland aimed at restoring devolution in the North.

Adams, one of the most prominent figures of Irish politics, has been Sinn Fein’s president for the past 34 years.

He announced his planned retirement as party president in 2018.

The 69-year old leader played an important part in the peace deal inked in 1998 in Northern Ireland between Irish republicans and nationalists.

The deal -- dubbed the Good Friday agreement -- largely saw the end of Troubles-era violence in which more than 3,500 people lost their lives.

The Belfast Agreement of 1998 laid the foundation for a peace deal which fell short of the IRA’s goal of a united Ireland, but the movement largely remained united behind the leadership of Martin McGuinness and his longtime colleague, Adams.

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