Tory Brexit will not delay Irish Unity Referendum – McDonald

Sinn Féin Leader Mary Lou McDonald TD has said “the chaos of the Tory Brexit will not delay a referendum on Irish Unity”.

Speaking from Leinster House today, Teachta McDonald said;

“The very nature of Brexit and the blatant disregard shown to Ireland by the Tory government underscores the imperative for Irish Unity. It emphasises the need for the people, north and south, to have their say on the constitutional question and the future of this island.

“A decision to exit the European Union was endorsed in England and Wales. It was rejected by the people of the North of Ireland and yet, it is to be imposed on them as though they didn’t vote at all. This again highlights the democratic deficit of the union and the utter failure of partition.

“Clearly, the chaos and prospect of a crash Tory Brexit, and the very real difficulties this will create in the lives of ordinary people, does not provide the best environment for a referendum on Irish Unity. We want to have that campaign in an atmosphere of calm, respect and in a climate conducive to constructive debate and not in the shadow of Tory game-playing.

“However, and I have already put this to Theresa May, if the Tories continue to pursue a negotiation stance that can only led to a crash Brexit, the British Government will have to put the question on Irish Unity to the people in a referendum. The Irish government must also act as a driver and persuader for Irish Unity. It must be proactive in preparing now for the economic, social, and political realities of Unity.

“Irish Unity makes sense. It has always made sense. Brexit is simply the latest political mess to underline that fact. The appetite for the Unity debate is growing every day. Sinn Féin wants to see a referendum as soon as possible. We want to build maximum consensus for unity and win that referendum.”