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Unity referendum should be called with immediate effect – Kearney

16 May, 2018 - by Declan Kearney

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney MLA said today that political progress in the north is being held hostage to political divisions in the British Tory party and its toxic alliance with the DUP. 

And the South Antrim MLA called for a unity referendum to be called with immediate effect.

Declan Kearney was speaking in response to comments attributed to British prime minister Theresa May on a referendum on Irish unity.  He said:

"The comments attributed to Theresa May regarding her opposition to convening a unity referendum is the latest evidence that democracy and the political process in the north are being held hostage to political divisions within the British Tory party and its ongoing toxic political alliance with the DUP.

"These revelations represent a further attempt at subversion of the Good Friday Agreement, which was endorsed in referenda by the people of Ireland.

"This latest example of British government duplicity is an affront to the legitimate aspiration of republicans and nationalists to a united Ireland.

“It flies in the face of the rigorous impartiality required of the British government under the Good Friday Agreement and the claim by the British government that it has ‘no selfish, strategic or economic interest’ in the north of Ireland.

"The facile attempt by Karen Bradley to later suggest the conditions for a unity referendum do not actually exist have no credibility, particularly given both her and Theresa May’s misrepresentation of the true status of legacy investigations in Westminster last week.  

"A unity referendum should be called with immediate effect.

"This British government is totally compromised by its explicitly pro-unionist, pro-DUP, pro-Brexit, and negative policies, all of which now threaten the entire basis & integrity of the GFA.

"It has forfeited the ability to even posture as an honest broker, or act with impartiality.

“Theresa May’s intervention has brought more instability into the political process here.

"The Irish government needs to challenge the Tories' consistent recklessness towards the north. The pro-unionist, partisan approach of this British government is now a major obstacle to making political progress.

"This situation demonstrates once again the urgency of establishing the British & Irish Inter-Governmental Conference, to bring forward a new combined Irish/British partnership for provide political oversight in the north, until proper power sharing and rights-based institutions can be established.”

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