EU Brexit Draft Text Made DUP 'More Isolated' in Irish Border Debate - Sinn Fein

© AP Photo / Peter MorrisonA motorist crosses over the border from the Irish Republic into Northern Ireland near the town of Jonesborough, Northern Ireland, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017
A motorist crosses over the border from the Irish Republic into Northern Ireland near the town of Jonesborough, Northern Ireland, Monday, Jan. 30, 2017 - Sputnik International
LONDON (Sputnik) - Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is now "all the more isolated" following EU suggestions to impose a common regulatory area between Northern Ireland, which is leaving the union, and the Republic of Ireland, David Cullinane, the spokesman for Brexit of the Irish Sinn Fein party, told Sputnik on Wednesday.

The comment was made after earlier in the day, the European Commission published the draft Article 50 Withdrawal Agreement. The document stipulates the establishment of a common regulatory area without internal borders, covering both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. UK Prime Minister Theresa May slammed the document, saying it would undermine the UK market and threaten the UK constitutional integrity as provides for creating a regulatory border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain.

"The DUP has rejected it out of hand which isn't that surprising, but they are all the more isolated now in Ireland by being the only major political party that's refusing to see the reality of the situation," Cullinane said.

READ MORE: Boris Johnson Warns Theresa May Against Focus On 'No Border' With Ireland

Arlene Foster, the leader of the pro-Brexit DUP, has denounced the EU document as constitutionally unacceptable, adding that its implementation would be economically catastrophic. In turn, the Sinn Fein spokesman said that the opposite would be a "disaster," with Northern Ireland suffering severe consequences in terms of the economy and security in the event a hard border with Ireland appeared.

"They [the DUP] are claiming some form of customs union would be a disaster for the north, well, if there was no agreement and the north was taken out of the customs union and single market… that would be a disaster for Northern Ireland – It would be a disaster for agriculture, for industry and for the Good Friday agreement," Cullinane stressed.

READ MORE: Scottish Government May Ask Parliament to Reject Brexit Bill — Sturgeon

The border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland remains an obstacle on the agenda of the Brexit talks, as London's pullout might create difficulties for the free movement of goods and workers between Ireland and the Northern Irish counties of the United Kingdom and return a "hard" border between them in potential violation of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.

The Good Friday Agreement was concluded in 1998 between the UK and Irish governments and political parties in Northern Ireland agreed to end decades of sectarian conflict that resulted in deaths of more than 3,500 people. The agreement states that no physical border should exist between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The views and opinions expressed by David Cullinane do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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