24 Aibreán 2017
The Ireland South MEP was speaking after a meeting the Scottish Brexit Minister Michael Russell in Cork today.
Ms Ní Riada met with the SNP Minister to discuss a range of issues of mutual concern to Ireland and Scotland in the Brexit negotiations.
“I had an illuminating meeting with Minister Russell today in which we discussed a range of issues regarding Brexit, many of which we shared similar opinions on,” she said.
“When I raised the issue of how Irish fisheries will be affected by Brexit I was appalled to learn that the issue has not even come up.
“While I am not surprised that the British Government has little regard for Irish fishermen I find it unsettling in the extreme that the Irish Government is not demanding more prominence for what is going to be an extremely complex issue.
“Mr Russell, who shares many of our concerns around fisheries, was refreshingly candid and honest in our talks about how the negotiations are going. It was an illuminating if alarming insight into talks about which our own Government has offered nothing to the public but bluff and bluster.
“He said that the major concern in Scotland was that Westminster was acting as it pleased with no regard for the devolved parliaments; that Scottish fishermen had been told Brexit would give them more control over their waters but that it looked increasingly like Westminster was going to retain those powers for itself
“When questioned on the issue of how Brexit would affect Irish fisheries he said it hadn’t even come up. The effect on Irish fisheries north or south had not even been raised and that it was his opinion Westminster was very much viewing Ireland, north and south, as collateral damage in the negotiations.
“While I would expect no less from Theresa May’s government this is an appalling insight into just how ineffectual our own government has been in putting Irish issues to the fore and a wake up call to the Taoiseach; he cannot continue to let Ireland take a back seat in these talks and just hope that the Tories will be reasonable.”