Adams calls for ‘Yes to Remain’ Vote in Brexit referendum
There was a large attendance at the Sinn Féin conference in the Carrickdale Hotel this evening to discuss Brexit and its implications for the island of Ireland.
The panel included Matt Carthy MEP, Dr Conor Patterson, and Executive Junior Minister Megan Fearon MLA.
Speaking at the event Gerry Adams called for a clear vote in support of remaining in the EU and said that in the “event that the referendum result is for leaving the EU Sinn Féin believes there would then be a democratic imperative for a border poll to provide Irish citizens with the right to vote for an end to partition and to retain a role in the EU.”
The Sinn Féin leader said:
“The referendum is in two weeks. The decision that the electorate in the north and in Britain will take will have consequences for all of these islands for years to come.
“As an Irish Republican party, Sinn Féin is critical of many aspects of the EU and of the profound lack of democracy at its core.
“Sinn Féin’s approach to the European Union can best be described as a critical engagement. Where measures are in the interests of the Irish people, we support them. Where they are not, we oppose them and campaign for change.
“We want a social Europe, a Europe of equals, in which citizens and sovereign national parliaments have a greater say in formulating positive policy positions.
“We are against the kind of Europe, which we saw exemplified in recent years in the appalling treatment of the Greek people; or of a fortress Europe which turns its back on refugees.
“The possibility that a part of our nation could end up outside the European Union while the other part stays in is not a situation that will benefit the Irish people.
“We have enough difficulties with the mess created by Partition. Sinn Féin wants an end to British government involvement in Irish affairs. Britain’s involvement in Ireland has had a lasting and damaging impact on our economies and on our communities, especially along the border.
“However, in the years since the Good Friday Agreement the border has become all but invisible. Brexit threatens that important change and risks inflicting significant damage on our two economies.
“Studies carried out into the likely impact of Brexit have concluded that this island would face greater difficulties than any other region of the EU. The Irish state is Britain’s fifth biggest market. Over one third of exports out of the north are into this state. The implications for job losses and future job creation are enormous. The effect on tourism, which is a huge money earner for this region, would also be significant.
“The referendum asks voters if the north and Britain should ‘remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’ Sinn Fein is asking for a clear vote in support of remaining.”
The Sinn Féin leader concluded:
“In the event that the referendum result is for leaving the EU, Sinn Féin believes there would then be a democratic imperative for a border poll to provide Irish citizens with the right to vote for an end to partition and to retain a role in the EU.”