Challenges of Brexit and Tory/DUP pact must be met – McDonald tells UI conference

Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD said today there was a need to build an open and inclusive debate on Irish unity and to meet that the challenges presented by the Tory /DUP pact and Brexit.

Mary Lou McDonald was speaking at a Uniting Ireland Conference in London.

The Sinn Féin President said:

“Brexit represents the greatest threat to the island of Ireland in a generation. It threatens our all-island economy, the rights of our people and our peace agreements.

“It is not Theresa May or the Arlene Foster who will suffer. It is the ordinary people of Ireland who will foot the bill for their backward approach.

“The Tory Brexiteers and the DUP had their entire debate without once considering the impact on Ireland. They brought that arrogance into the negotiations.

“We are told that Britain has agreed to “A” backstop in relation to these negotiations but not “THE” backstop proposed by the EU.

“They now demand flexibility from the EU without bringing forward one workable solution to their Brexit problem.

“There are some who are prepared to bin the Good Friday Agreement in pursuit of Brexit.

It is not their agreement to bin. It belongs to the people of Ireland North and South. It is a not a bargaining chip in a negotiation.

“These issues need resolved now, not put on the long finger. In the words of Donald Tusk before negotiations continue ‘we must resolve Ireland first’.

“The Irish Government and EU must remain steadfast. And Britain must live up to its responsibility of protecting the Good Friday Agreement and ensuring no hardening of the border.

“The denial of democracy of the vote in the north to remain demonstrates the reality of the union.

“It has reenergised the United Ireland debate.”