Sinn Fein calls for ‘unity referendum’ ahead of Brexit

March 13, 2017 10:30 pm

’s leader in the Northern assembly, Michelle O’Neill

Irish nationalist political party Sinn Fein has called for a referendum to leave the “as soon as possible.”
Monday’s call was not the first one for splitting from and uniting with Republic of Ireland.
Sinn Fein has been calling for such a vote since last June, when the UK voted to leave the European Union.
will be a disaster for the economy, and a disaster for the people of Ireland. A referendum on Irish unity has to happen as soon as possible,” Sinn Fein’s leader in the Northern Ireland assembly, Michelle O’Neill, told reporters in the capital Belfast.
She made the call for a referendum shortly after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon made a similar request.
O’Neill attacked “the British Tories” in charge of the government, which is preparing to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty in order to start formal negotiations for Brexit, following a Monday go-ahead by lawmakers in the House of Commons.

Sinn Fein party president Gerry Adams (C) stands with Sinn Fein’s northern leader Michelle O’Neill (2L) as they speak to the media in Belfast on March 4, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

The government of Prime Minister Theresa May is “going to take the North (Northern Ireland) out of EU against the wishes, the expressed wishes of the majority of people here. Also against the expressed wishes of the majority of parties across this island (both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland) who want to achieve special designated status for the North. They are continuing to refuse to listen to the majority views and they’re refusing to honor their commitments and agreements,” O’Neill said.
She further commented on the Scottish leader’s call for a referendum, asserting, “Well obviously the issue of Scotland is an issue for the Scottish people and I’ve listened very clearly to what Nicola has said. What I am saying today is that Brexit has increased the urgency for a unity referendum and we believe that needs to happen as soon as possible.”
“There are obviously significant challenges as a result of Brexit. Calling for a unity referendum is not a new call from Sinn Fein, it’s something we have been calling for and indeed insisted on in the Good Friday Agreement. So what’s important now that on the back of Brexit and the implications that are going to be for the people on this island, that we move towards the unity referendum as soon as possible.”
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