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Progressive civic society in Britain must engage with Irish unity debate - Maskey

23 March, 2018 - by Paul Maskey

Sinn Féin MP Paul Maskey has said that the Irish diaspora in Britain and progressive British civic society should have their say in the debate for a new, agreed and united Ireland.

The West Belfast MP will attend a historic United Ireland conference in London on Saturday 24th March, alongside Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Féin Vice President Michelle O’Neill and Gerry Adams TD.

Two panel discussions will also include academic Peter Shirlow, author Kevin Meagher, Prof. Mary Hickman, and writer and activist Geoff Bell. Guardian journalist Dawn Foster will also chair a panel discussion.

Paul Maskey MP said:

“Brexit has re-energised and reshaped the debate about a United Ireland. There are many more people talking positively about a United Ireland than at any time in recent years.

“We are taking the discussion to. Britain on the future of Ireland and our island’s reunification to engage with progressive civil society and the Irish diaspora to make the international case for unity.

“A unity referendum is a central part of the Good Friday Agreement. Sinn Féin wants to see such a referendum in the next five years. 

“We believe that such a referendum is achievable in that timeframe and we also believe that it is winnable.

“However, Irish Unity must be planned for and it must be worked for. Aspiration alone is insufficient. We need to build a mass movement and momentum for Irish unity. We must take nothing for granted.

“Of course we must also listen to those who don’t want a united Ireland. It is our task to persuade those people, sectors and communities about why it’s in their best economic and political interests to share power across this island.

"This is why Sinn Féin’s series of United Ireland conferences on this issue are so important.

“Saturday's event promises to be an exciting and stimulating discussion and I would encourage as many people as possible to join us in the Congress Centre, Great Russell St, London as we discuss how best to build a new, agreed, united Ireland after Brexit.”

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